November 19, 2015

Presumptions about women

It is generally assumed that women talk more than men. ☺

The psychology researchers at The University of Texas at Austin, who published their findings in the July 2007 issue of “Science”, say that women and men both use an average of 16,000 words each day.

It is also generally assumed that films let women and men communicate similar to that in real life.

In a study the University of Southern California (USC) assessed every speaking or named character on screen—over 30,000 characters in all—from the top-grossing films released from 2007 to 2014. Females represented just 30.2% of all speaking characters across these 700 movies. Only 11% of the 700 films were gender balanced or featured girls/women in roughly half of all speaking parts.

I cannot estimate the cost of these wrong assumptions.

It is not very rare that my female clients, who want to sell their business are addressed as Mr. so-and-so when they are sent the first email by some male potential acquirer, whom they have not met yet. It is automatically assumed that the company shareholder or executive is a male.

An assumption, I know, which sometimes proves to be very costly. ☺

To read about the research at The University of Texas at Austin: DO WOMEN REALLY TALK MORE THAN MEN?

To read about the research at The USC: Want to work in Hollywood? Only straight, white men need apply

The oldie of the week: Guess Who – American Woman (1970)

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