Aspiring businessmen and women in the Midlands are less likely to climb the career ladder if they have a strong accent, a survey has found.
According to 63 per cent of the people questioned by communications consultancy The Aziz Corporation, people with a Birmingham or Midlands accent are believed to be generally unsuccessful in the workplace and should "soften" their accent to gain better results.
Chairman Khalid Aziz said: "Although it may not be politically correct to believe that accents matter nowadays, popular prejudices still exist.
"If you want to get ahead in business and do not speak the Queen's English, it is better to sound as if you are from America, Europe, India or indeed Scotland than from any English region.
But Birmingham Chamber of Commerce spokesman John Lamb disagreed with the findings and said the accent had no impact on success.
He was surprised to hear it only beat the Scouse accent by one per cent.
"I do not think that is true. You have only got to look at people who are at the top of their professions," he said.
"Look at Digby Jones. He has done pretty well for himself and so have a lot of Brummies in the fields of medicine, research and commerce.
"Most people would concede the accent may not be the best in the country, but nevertheless I do not think it is relevant."