London 9/06/11: Survey from CitySocialising reveals a Glaswegian accent is the most likely to hinder your career.
In light of the official announcement from Simon Cowell that has confirmed Cheryl Cole’s departure from Xfactor USA and amidst much media speculation that her ‘thick accent’ was to blame CitySocialising, the UK’s leading online2offline socialising network for outgoing urbanites, have conducted their own poll* of Britons to try and find out if a strong accent really can hold you back in your chosen career.
It seems it’s not just hapless A-listers who are being held back by their regional roots, it has an effect on us mere mortals too. The survey found that amazingly 17% of Britons think their accent has hindered their career at one point or another, and it’s Glaswegians in particular who experience the most prejudice, with 33% of them claiming their accent has affected their career prospects – guess that means Frankie Boyle won’t be making the judging panel either.
The Survey went on to reveal a Birmingham accent as the second most likely to leave you at the bottom of the career ladder with 27% of Brummies feeling they’d been subject to discrimination due to their accent and Manchester wasn’t too far behind with 27% of Mancunians making the same claim (although it didn’t do the Gallagher brothers any harm).
Despite Cheryl’s sacking only 8% of Geordies felt that their accent may have hindered their career at some point and 33% even claimed it has helped them get ahead (but then Geordie Shore has only been airing three weeks) and contrary to what the TOWIE cast would have you believe, it seems adopting an Essex accent may just bag you your dream job. 60% of respondents from the county claimed their accent had helped advance their careers. The other top accents you’ll need to take on if you want to get ahead in the game are Cambridgeshire (67%) and Irish (51%).
But before you start practicing your best Louis Walsh impersonation you may just want to refine the accent you have. Over half of Britons (57%) are already putting on their best ‘phone voice’ when at work, adapting their accent depending on the social setting they are in.
Sanchita Saha CEO and Founder of CitySocialising commented:
“The recent media reports over Cheryl’s departure seem to suggest the TV chiefs in charge felt that if an audience couldn’t understand what Cheryl was saying 100% of the time then they would not respond to her as a personality and warm to her as we did in Britain.
The results of our survey seem to put paid to this claim, at least for those who want to make friends and forge real long term relationships with likeminded others. Of those that lived away from home over half (54%) had accents that differed from those of their closest friends.”
However It seems it’s not just the TV big wigs who are dismissive of those with a thick accent, a whopping 36% of respondents admitted that a strong accent would put them off talking to someone when they meet new people and 17% of us would even go as far as avoiding socialising with someone that had a strong accent” – Ah so that’s why Girls Aloud went Solo.
The CitySocialising survey went on bust the myth that women have more patience and tolerance than men when it comes to engaging with others. 31% of women admitted to getting annoyed by people who could not understand them due to their accent, compared with just 22% of men.
Notes to editors:
*Survey conducted between 26th May – 2nd June 2011. Over 450 participants across UK.
Top 5 accents voted most likely to hinder your career:
1. Glasgow (33%)
2. Birmingham (30%)
3. Manchester (27%)
4. Middlesbrough (25%)
5. London (21%)
Top 5 accents most likely to help your career:
1. Cambridge (67%)
2. Essex (60%)
3. Ireland (51%)
4. London (44%)
5. Newcastle (33%)
CitySocialising is the UK’s leading Online2Offline socialising network and community for outgoing urbanites, backed by PROfounders, the European VC fund set up by tech luminaries Brent Hoberman (Lastminute.com) and Michael Birch (Bebo.com). Pioneering the convergence of virtual and real world networking in the UK, CitySocialising enables young professionals to meet new people and new friends locally whilst exploring and enjoying their city’s social scene. Launched with R&D funding from the Princes Trust in 2007 with a site and service in London, the network has since developed a community of over 100,000 users, organising over 1000 socials a month across 50 cities in the UK, each overseen by a local Community Manager.