Yes, I’m talking about the marketplace value of a woman’s voice. What is it worth to your organization?

And why should you invest in your female talent to speak more powerfully and persuasively?

Over the past 18 months, I’ve researched women’s voice in history. I’ve combed through old newspapers and archives, out-of-print books and manuscripts, searching for overlooked women’s oratory — hundreds and thousands of speeches by women like:

  • Frances E.W. Harper, who spoke in 1866 about how the humanity of black women and white women is intertwined.
  • Sarah Winnemucca, who spoke in 1884 about why the federal government should help her tribe.
  • Leonora O’Reilly — who testified before the US Congress in 1912 — impressively twice on the same day — here and here — about the struggles of working class women.
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Each of these women was powerful and influential. Each advanced a critical cause by using her voice in public.

Companies that want to support their female talent can learn from women’s voices of the past.

Every company can develop their talented women to step up, speak up, and represent their organizations to become:

— Thought leaders —recognized experts in their field, who share their knowledge and tell the world what your company does, and why it matters.

— Brand ambassadors —who send a message that your organization is diverse, inclusive, and supports all employees.

— Rainmakers and business developers —who attract clients who want to do business with your organization and help you grow.

— Recruiting agents —who encourage other talented women to come work for your organization by showing that you’re “female forward.”

— Role models —who send the message to all the rising women in your talent pipeline that they, too, can assume positions of greater visibility and influence.

From every measurement and metric comes an irrefutable argument for the ROI of investment in female talent.

That’s why I created Speaking While Female: so companies can get the most value from their most valuable asset: their human talent.

Here’s a short talk on this topic I gave in Hartford, Conn., called “Lipstick on a Pig.

If you want to elevate and celebrate your talented women, take a leaf from the history books. Learn from the powerhouse women of the past — their drive, their determination, their rhetorical firepower — and imagine what your women can do in the future.


Take a leaf from the history books. Learn about women of the past — and imagine what your women can do in the future.

Whether they’re on the podium or at a roadshow, wooing a prospect or pitching a new venture, leading a Town Hall or presenting to the board — all women need to speak strong.

And all companies need strong women to thrive.




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