cover image Outspoken: Why Women’s Voices Get Silenced and How to Set Them Free

Outspoken: Why Women’s Voices Get Silenced and How to Set Them Free

Veronica Rueckert. Harper Business, $29.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-06-287935-6

In her delightful debut, Rueckert, voice coach and former host on Wisconsin Public Radio, explores the power and diversity of women’s voices and presents a dynamic how-to guide for making those voices heard. Rueckert begins by explaining how the gender pay gap, higher number of men than women in leadership positions, and women’s propensity to be interrupted in conversations are issues that can be traced back to the perceived value (or lack thereof) of women’s voices in society. In response, Rueckert offers no-frills strategies (doing away with open offices, which she believes cultivates a stultifying “cubicle voice”) and physical exercises (breathing techniques and tools for overcoming stage fright) that will help strengthen women’s speaking voices. Pulling from personal anecdotes and academic studies, she, at times, portrays a hopeless world: talking too much at a board meeting, for instance, can cause a woman to be deemed chatty or inattentive, but talking too little can lead her to be deemed submissive. Yet, Rueckert’s overall tone is optimistic. This helpful guide, filled with Rueckert’s sage advice, will be a great resource for any woman struggling to find or express her voice. [em](Aug.) [/em]