Confidence and the Career Woman

Studies show that confidence in the workplace is more rewarded than competence. Obviously the confident ones will have to have an element of competence but not as much as initially thought.

As a career driven women, I know that this is pretty accurate. I’ve seen people in meetings voicing their opinions that are a bit inaccurate, but people are still sat there nodding in agreement, whilst I’ve been thinking exactly what I need to say in order to get a factually correct point across but then miss the boat as the conversation has moved on and I’m left feeling a bit pissed off.

So I decided to do some research on it. Surely I wasn’t the only one.

It blew my mind that there is a whole raft of information on it! And guess what? It’s a woman thing. Women second guessing themselves, not speaking until they know they have 100% of the information.

Women not applying for jobs they know they could do but don’t risk the rejection as they don’t tick every single box of the requirement. Men, on the other hand, just go for it! They just brush off the rejection and move on to the next…hmm does this sound familiar in another aspect of life!?

I look at the world now and there are so many women in key positions. Angela Merkel, Hilary Clinton, Theresa May, Christine Lagarde… I wondered if they’ve overcome this lack of confidence.

When I was reading The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipmen, I was shocked when Christine admitted in her interview with them that she and Angela feel a need to over-prepare for things. Isn’t that a sign of not being fully confident? There is a fear of being caught out with having the wrong information or not being knowledgeable enough.

Theresa May is the second female Prime Minister for the UK and there seems to be more attention on her shoes that they fact that she was previously the longest serving Home Secretary in 60 years. I can’t remember anyone talking about David Camerons shoes.

Is this why women feel they need to over prepare? Because society still judges women so much more harshly than men? Have we really won our place at the table?

My view is that we deserve our place at the table. We should work as hard as we can to show that we are worth it. Yes, we over prepare but then we know that our delivery and plans will be flawless. It’s the preparation that helps our confidence, we just need to find the fine line where it doesn’t hinder us.

Do we have to dress like boring old men? No. We will embrace our femininity as it’s part of who we are.

Men will call us shrill and shouty but that’s only because they don’t want to be shown up by a woman. Perhaps if they had prepared, they wouldn’t feel so threatened…


Dee is a Career Success Coach for women and the founder of The Female Mogul. With 14+ years HR and Recruitment experience working for Global Multi-National Companies, she has a wealth of experience in Talent Management and her career has taken her around the world. Dee launched The Female Mogul due to her deep passion for empowering women to take control of their careers and her belief that women can achieve their professional goals.


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