Posted by: hjwilliams94 | January 19, 2016

Women, Business, and Communication

Overall, I think the introduction of more women into more businesses is a positive thing. Also, more women in leadership roles is something I view as a primarily positive thing. Not only do I hope to attain leadership roles as a woman myself, but I hope that over time, women in business will not be treated differently than men.

I started working as the Social Media Intern for Riverside Health System in Newport News, VA last week. I was fortunate enough to be able to sit down with some Senior Executives today and interview them about their vision and goals for my internship. An interesting point that the Chief Information Officer brought up in our interview was the concept of “up-speaking” or “up-talking”. Essentially these terms refer to the high inflection made in the tonality of a person’s voice when a person is stating a statement, but because of the high inflection, it sounds like a question. The CIO complimented myself and my advisor, who is also female, by telling us he did not hear either of us “up-speak”/”up-talk”. It was an interesting point and is a growing problem with younger employees as well as female employees.

The take-away from this point in conversation for me is that as a young, female employee, it is my job to be confident when speaking with other employees. This confidence is important in relaying the correct message and avoiding misunderstanding or miscommunication. In a world that is constantly connected through different social media and internet platforms, there is still a “general feeling that communication is breaking down everywhere on an unparalleled scale,” (Bohm, 1996, p. 1). It is very interesting to me that even though we have so many different avenues for communication, this feeling still exists. I believe this to be due to an overwhelming amount of information/media being put out into the world and not as much willingness to listen to one another separate from our biases.

Bohm, D., & Nichol, L. (1996). On Communication. In On Dialogue (p. 1). London: Routledge.


  1. The up speaking is a very interesting statement. To add on to that, a topic in management is that women tend to add words to their speech to making phrases sound more of a suggestion than a statement. Or to unintentionally make them sound less aggressive. For example, women tend to say phrases such as “I just wanted to” versus men who tend to use a more direct phrasing “I wanted to.”

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