THE LONG-STANDING CONFIDENCE CONUNDRUM
There has been a pervasive notion that women just need to be more self-confident to achieve success at work. A Google search for “how women can be more confident at work” yields over 200 million results. Much of it assumes that women either have confidence or they don’t. It also leads with the assumption that it’s up to the women themselves to fix what is viewed as solely an internal problem.
RECOGNIZING SHADOW MOMENTS
In February 2022, Fiducia Coaching partnered with market research firm BAMM on the study “The Confidence Con: Re-Writing the Rules on Women’s Confidence in the Workplace.” Through a survey of 500 women, the goal was to uncover if confidence was a barrier for women at work, as well as better understand the contexts and drivers of confidence. Here’s what we found:
The Confidence Con research also demonstrates that leaders, managers, and co-workers have a significant role in cultivating confidence for women. When asked what increases their confidence at work, the respondents most often cited recognition of their efforts, feeling trusted, being listened to, and support from their bosses.
The idea that structurally things need to change when it comes to confidence is critical. While women will need to continue to build confidence from within, as they still face numerous challenges outside of their control that will require resilience, they also equally need supportive work environments that foster confidence. And it is not only good for individual people, but also good for business. The Confidence Con research showed that 88% of people believe confidence is critical in the workplace and, according to a survey by Indeed, 98% of workers said they perform better when they are confident.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING AN ALLY
Employers and individuals must create work cultures that alleviate, rather than exacerbate, day-to-day shadow moments.
By rewriting the rules on women's confidence in the professional world, we can break the assumptions at the heart of the Confidence Con research that women are singularly responsible for their confidence journeys. In doing so, we can make businesses, workplaces, and lives stronger for it.
Here are five ways you can rewrite the rules and be a confidence ally: