Have you ever finished a presentation and, even though you look your age, the only comment after was \u201cHow old are you?\u201d Chances are it\u2019s not your content; it\u2019s your voice. It doesn\u2019t take much of a stretch of the imagination to understand how a childlike voice can negatively impact how others perceive you at work. To deal with it, more and more, primarily women, are investing significant amounts of time and money into vocal training to learn to sound more authoritative. But is the idea that a voice must be masculine to be authoritative now antiquated or still practical? While in an ideal world feminine qualities would be as highly valued in the workplace as masculine ones, we maintain that working on your voice to make it sound more authoritative isn\u2019t selling out your gender (or sexual orientation, in the case of men with sibilant and\/or feminine voices). A weak voice is perceived as the equivalent of a limp handshake and can give a poor impression in the workplace. There are a number of different speech barriers that can hold you back \u2014 most of which have nothing to do with sounding masculine \u2014 such as speaking too softly, mumbling and uptalk, where the voice inflects into a higher pitch making every statement sound like a question. There\u2019s also the increasingly common affectation known as \u201cvocal fry\u201d \u2014 a breathy, raspy way of speaking typified by celebrities like the Kardashians and Katy Perry. One study in the scientific journal Plos One Entitled \u201cVocal Fry May Undermine the Success of Young Women in the Labor Market\u201d found that, compared to a \u201cnormal\u201d speaking voice, \u201cyoung adult female voices exhibiting vocal fry are perceived as less competent, less educated, less trustworthy, less attractive, and less hirable.\u201d Changing a trait as ingrained as your voice is no small feat. A typical regimen might encompass several months of once-a-week training followed by a year of practice. It\u2019s not cheap either, with rates ranging from $50 per hour to hundreds of dollars per hour. However, as with all self-improvement, how far you take it is really up to you. You can improve your voice for free, just by being mindful of how you talk at work. Stand up straight, breathe, project and speak clearly and with intention. It\u2019s reasonable for people to judge you based on how well they can understand you. If they can\u2019t hear you, or if the sound of your voice grates on their nerves, they will respect you less. So learn to speak with authority \u2014 you deserve to be heard.