WATCH: Could a different keyboard help close the pay gap?

Salon’s Carrie Sheffield, Amanda Marcotte and Mary Elizabeth Williams sat down recently to discuss designer Roya Ramezani’s intriguing idea for helping women communicate more effectively in the workforce — a keyboard that prompts them to use more “power verbs” in their writing.

Sheffield, Marcotte and Williams expressed their thoughts about whether women need special tools in the workplace and the ways in which male and female workers are still perceived differently, even when using the same words. Ramezani herself talked to Salon via email recently and explained her hopes for her project. “We all practice verbal communication in our daily lives to inform, whether it is to inform others of our requests or to impart knowledge,” she said. “However, there is a significant difference between communicating effectively versus just communicating. I’m advocating for clear and effective communication through powerful choice of words; and it doesn’t contradict speaking politely. In regards to necessity, firstly, any organization can benefit from improved, effective communication between employees. Moreover, I believe that effective verbal communication is a fundamental skill needed in order to succeed in both business and life for individuals. Whether it’s presenting a concept in a board room or the conversation we have with our coworker at lunch, how you articulate your thoughts and opinions ultimately defines who you are in the eyes of other people. These instant perceptions and our choice of words could make or break it when we’re trying to get our point across or describe why our idea is great.”

Watch the full interview below: