Working women in the UK feel they face a number of challenges to make their voice heard in business environments, according to new research.
A study conducted by RADA in Business, the commercial subsidiary of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art which provides communication skills training for corporate individuals, found that just 8% of women find it easy to make their voice heard at work. In comparison, 15% of men reported being able to express themselves with ease within a work environment.
The research also revealed that women are 68% more likely than men to say they never feel comfortable when expressing themselves in a work environment (3.7% of women compared to 2.2% of men). This gap was widest in specific sectors, most notably IT, professional services (such as law and accountancy), retail and education, says RADA in Business.
Situations where women said they felt significantly less comfortable than their male counterparts were when meeting with their manager (33% more likely to feel uncomfortable than men) or an organisation’s board members or senior management (12% more likely).
Typically, women responding to the survey said that they felt more comfortable when communication was a two-way process, for example, in one-to-one meetings when they felt the other person was genuinely listening to what they had to say.