“Dare to compete, Mrs. Clinton.”

What is the ‘confidence gap’ and how can it impact my career?

the current

Yesterday I heard an interesting interview on CBC Radio’s The Current with journalists/authors Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, whose new book, The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance — What Women Should Know, discusses why the glass ceiling still exists.

They report the reason is the “confidence gap.” This concept was identified by Kay and Shipman during research and interviews, which are described in the book. They report that a lack of confidence and a high level of insecurity limits women’s progression in their careers, particularly as compared to those of men.

A part of the interview that stuck with me was when Kay and Shipman reflected on the perceptions of self-confidence held by female senior executives and seasoned politicians. For example, when Hilary Clinton was thinking of running for Senate the first time, the main barrier she faced was a lack of confidence. She realized she was being held back by a fear of getting in the race because she might not win.

Then, a high school basketball coach in New Jersey said to her, Dare to compete, Mrs. Clinton. These simple words encouraged Clinton to launch her political career. She realized that the worst that could have happened would be to lose.

After the interview, I reflected on Clinton’s experience and wondered if a man have had this same fear holding him back in the same scenario.

Also, does this type of thinking play a role in the lives of working women everywhere? Could it result in women not taking a leap toward a dream job or career change?

Check out the full interview online. Then, you can take a quiz created by Kay and Shipman that will help to reveal the factors that determine confidence, as well as the links between self-esteem and confidence.

Do you think the “confidence gap” exists? Share in the comments.

Image credit: cbc.ca.

2 thoughts on ““Dare to compete, Mrs. Clinton.”

Add yours

  1. Interesting article! I’ve definitely heard that this is the case for a lot of women. I read in an article that when applying for jobs, most men will apply for a position if they feel they meet 60% of the qualifications, but women won’t apply unless they feel they meet 100% of the qualifications. Definitely something I’m going to try to work on as part of my professional development in the future.

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