Voice Privilege. In almost any domain – corporate, electoral, theatrical, romantic – those with good timbre and pitch are at a monstrous advantage.
- There is an unconscious voice bias operating in our world.
- In meetings, I see perceptive mumblers lose out to sonorous mediocrities.
- Those of us with a squeak or a murmur, go through life hamstrung.
( Financial Review, February 2023.)
The Times asks how much of the historic male advantage in the workplace comes down to the vocal factor. Often female voices are labelled shrill – a wounding word to use against someone because it conflates a trebly voice with extremism of thought and brittleness of character.
Q. What voice quality is rewarded most?
A. It isn’t about accent, or choice of words or the arrangement of them, it is what is called eloquence. By that, I mean the noise the body makes. Deep and textured is a voice quality that surrounds the speaker with gravitas. That quality is not defined by gender – it is acquired by a commitment to training one’s instrument to achieve best rewards.