How often have you applied for that dream job, knowing that you have the best qualifications, and your accent let you down?
I recently saw this video on linkedin, link here.
It was very funny to watch, and I admit, I was in peals of laughter by the time it ended.
Thank goodness it was funny ad video. However , that made me think. How often do you come across employers who have a bias against certain accents? Which accents have more of a bias than another? Do employers /future employers actually mark an applicant down due to their accent?
Some of my clients whom I train have been advised that they did not get the job that they applied for as they were too difficult to understand during the interview. I even have some clients who are in high paying, high positions, whose employers have sent them for accent reduction classes, so that their speech is clearer.
I myself, have had that experience, when I was in university and told I would fail, as my speech was difficult to be understood. Would I call that bias? Personally, I do not think so. For once, my job is a Speech Therapist, and being that, my main purpose is to help people communicate. How can I help someone communicate, when they do not understand me? Hence, for me, personally, I did not find that a bias.
However, it becomes bias when you get passed over for promotions, higher positions etc, when your speech does not match up your skills. It becomes a bias when a job is withheld from you, due to your pronunciation only. This is a sensitive topic, however, I think sensitive topics do not get discussed and swept under the carpet, and no one addresses them!
My opinion is that employers should engage the best person for the job and help them grow as a person. And that means helping them grow their speech, their communication skills and their personality. If someone has all the skills you are seeking, however, lack proper delivery, they can be trained up by a professional Speech Pathologist.
What are your thoughts on this matter? Bias or non bias?