Confidence versus Competence

Here’s a great and relevant article in The Atlantic:

The Confidence Gap between Men and Women 

Evidence shows that women are less self-assured than men—and that to succeed, confidence matters as much as competence. Here’s why, and what to do about it,” is the subhead on the piece by  Katty Kay and Claire Shipman. It provides a good perspective on how we, as talented and accomplished professionals, persist in believing that we are “pretenders to the throne” of success.  We must get beyond these doubts and focus on the facts …

Even as our understanding of confidence expanded, however, we found that our original suspicion was dead-on: there is a particular crisis for women—a vast confidence gap that separates the sexes. Compared with men, women don’t consider themselves as ready for promotions, they predict they’ll do worse on tests, and they generally underestimate their abilities. This disparity stems from factors ranging from upbringing to biology.

A growing body of evidence shows just how devastating this lack of confidence can be. Success, it turns out, correlates just as closely with confidence as it does with competence. No wonder that women, despite all our progress, are still woefully underrepresented at the highest levels. All of that is the bad news. The good news is that with work, confidence can be acquired. Which means that the confidence gap, in turn, can be closed.

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