Is your confidence on the same level as your competence?

We hear so much about the gender pay gap but very little about the gender confidence gap.

When we think about the fact that confidence is a very strong indicator of success, much more so than competence, it’s a significant issue for women.

According to research (Kay & Shipman), ‘women don’t consider themselves as ready for promotions, predict they’ll do worse on tests, and they generally underestimate their abilities’.

So how is your confidence?

Is it on the same level as your competence? In many women there is a discrepancy between the two. Interestingly, many women believe that when they are more competent they will feel more confident.

Not true!

It is actually the reverse. By addressing your confidence issues, your levels of competence will increase.

In many situations, women are actually competent enough to take on the opportunity that has presented itself, they hold back due to a lack of confidence.

There is no question that an increase in confidence will make a huge difference in achieving success. With confidence comes resilience, a reduced fear of failure and a faster bounce back should you fail.

Research also tells us that women often meet a greater number of criteria than their male counterparts but resist stepping up until they feel really confident.

Think about your own level of confidence. Is there a gap between it and your level of competence? Are you prepared to step up and take a risk?

From a leadership point of view, the confidence gap certainly plays a role in the difference in salaries and leadership positions between women and men.

We need to change these statistics.

The following tips will get you started.

1. Self Belief

Like leadership, confidence begins with the self. Take a good look at your strengths and focus on them rather than areas in which you are lacking.

2. Continuous Improvement

There is no question that we feel more confident when we are increasing our knowledge and skills. Invest in yourself and your professional development.

3. Goals and Objectives

Having a very clear purpose, vision and mission will outline where you are going and how you’re going to get there. Map it out, chunk it down and acknowledge the progress you make, it will do wonders for your confidence.

Having confidence in yourself and your ability is a key trait for a successful leader. Like leadership, it is not always something we’re born with but it is something we can develop.


Alison Vidotto is the award winning author of 22 Leadership Fundamentals; the Door to Success says Push! A leadership keynote speaker and trainer, CEO of Vidotto Group and Founder of the Australian Charity for the Children of Vietnam ( Alison has a passion for leadership and development, both within herself and in others. She writes leadership articles for the Australian Business Women's Network ( Alison has also been published in the...

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