Words Matter: How Language Shapes Career Aspirations

Corona Smith, Fehma Zahid, Tadeh Amirkhanian, and Taleen Amirkhanian 

In today’s rapidly changing society, the language we choose to use not only reflects our future aspirations but also has the ability to guide and change them. This study delves into the nuanced interplay between language and gender. Also, it examines how linguistic differences in word choice, tone, and body language shape career aspirations among a wide range of UCLA undergraduate students with diverse backgrounds. Key takeaways from the study indicate that men are indeed more likely to use, ‘stronger,’ language when discussing their futures as compared to their female counterparts. In doing so, the study aims to understand these linguistic patterns to promote an inclusive environment that empowers individuals in pursuing their aspirations – with confidence and determination – regardless of their gender.

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