While women are succeeding in historically male professions, stereotypes of their lack of competence persist as obstacles to their advancement, with popular media urging women to improve their language skills if they hope to advance in traditionally male professions.
In Women Speaking Up: Getting and Using Turns in Workplace Meetings, Cecilia E. Ford rejects popular notions of gender difference and even deficiency in women’s language use. She uses careful analysis of interaction to counter negative myths, focusing on women’s turns as exemplars skills required by men and women alike to contribute to workplace meetings. Based on videotaped meetings in a variety of settings the author offers new insights into vocal and non-vocal practices for getting and using turns in these common workplace events. The book introduces conversation analytic methods and presents new findings on turn taking, the use of questions to present challenges and open participation, and the interactional skills required to effectively raise issues that go counter to ideas of higher ranking co-workers. For any one who wants to understand meeting interaction, Women Speaking Up offers a wealth of well-grounded new perspectives, while celebrating women’s demonstrated competence.”