Women are told to work on their confidence all the time. To ‘lean in’; to ‘step up’; and to ‘make themselves known’
But can an increase in confidence really shift the game for women, and level a playing field that sees an estimated 150,000 more men than women being promoted each year?
By examining the confidence levels and promotion prospects of the working men and women in Australia who took part in the HILDA research, [Dr Risse] found that men had a ‘higher hope of success’ on average, while women came up against a ‘higher fear of failure’.
That higher hope of success marginally lifted the job promotion prospects for men. But for women, such increases of hope had no effect on their opportunities.
Dr Risse believes the findings challenge the Sheryl Sandberg ‘lean in’ mantra that encourages women to be more assertive in the workplace.
She said the findings may indicate bias in how women are treated in the workplace, which was consistent with other research finding women can actually suffer backlash for demonstrating assertiveness, confidence and ambition at work.