Former Abbotsford resident and business owner Amelia Reigstad has spent the last year conducting research about gender differences in communication styles and their influence on workplace communication and the practice of public relations.
She recently shared her findings at an International Association of Business Communicators event in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Reigstad’s study discovered that men and women communicate differently but that personality traits, rather than gender, lend themselves to influencing the end goal of a PR campaign.
She says the idea that practitioners “perform” in their day-to-day jobs and put on fronts – not necessarily communicating what is on their mind to colleagues and clients – is apparent and there is a feeling that the expectation is to always “be on,” to essentially be acting or playing a role.
Reigstad says age is a factor within many communication challenges, and women take on masculine qualities to gain recognition and seats at the executive table.
Inequality at the C-suite level is still of concern to women but it doesn’t impact men in the same way, she says.
Reigstad was born and raised in Abbotsford before moving to the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul in 2012.
She developed Crosspoint Communications, a full-service public relations company in 2007 through which many Abbotsford businesses were clients.
She has now taken her passion for public relations and turned it into a successful career in education as a visiting assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin River Falls.
“It excites me to share the results of this study with those in my hometown as many businesses, family and friends have supported me along the way,” Reigstad said.
She visits the community often with her husband and two children and still calls Abbotsford home.