On behalf of women, and all of the exceptional women leaders I know, enough is enough!

Misperceptions of a woman’s voice need to be pitched.

Yesterday, I received two different emails saying that in order to be heard, you have to lower the pitch of your voice.

One said that “If you lower your pitch, you will be perceived as more influential, more dominant, and higher status. If you raise your pitch, you signal the opposite.”

The other claimed that if you want to strike a tone of “authority or confidence”, you have to raise the volume of your voice and lower your pitch.

Both of these statements come from respected communication coaches. And each claims to ground their assessments with research.

But here’s the thing.

It’s 2022. It’s high time we recognize the value of women’s voices.

We have a lot to contribute to this world. And for way too long, we haven’t always been heard when and where we have something significant to say.

The reality is that most women’s voices are different from that of men’s. Our vocal range is inherently higher.

To suggest that we have to lower our pitch to be perceived as influential or to convey authority is wrong on so many levels. It’s dismissive, biased, and unjust.

In the ’80s, women wore dark suits and silk ties to fit into the male-dominated business world.

And now 40 years later, we’re told we have to sound like men to be heard.

It’s pretty disheartening. I truly believed we’d made progress, thanks in part to all the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives.

So let me cite some research of my own.

Leadership has nothing to do with the pitch of one’s voice. It emerges in both women and men through language, through the words that we use. We recognize leadership when we hear it, and there’s a reason for that.

It’s high time we rid ourselves of the antiquated notion that to be taken seriously, we have to speak with low and loud voices.

The reality is that rock and roll music and classical music sound completely different. And yet we can enjoy each one equally.

So enough already! It’s time the world gets used to the distinct sound of a woman’s voice.

Because hear this:

We are no longer willing to lower ourselves to be heard.