Women often have lower self-confidence, which is detrimental to their careers

Hard work alone is not enough to reach the (sub)top in the business world. This is what the senior women themselves say. Other factors are equally important: participation in the political game, having the right network, and being visible.

In the corporate world, extroversion and self-confidence are often rewarded – and when necessary – a healthy game of cheating. And in some cases even exaggerated.

This is exactly the type of behavior that men are usually more comfortable with than women.

Women find self-promotion uncomfortable

This is partly due to (many) women. They have some modesty. It might suit them, but it also means that they allow themselves to be cut short by men who put themselves in the spotlight.

Many women find self-promotion to be uncomfortable. This can have various reasons. Women naturally appear more modest, but they are also more likely to underestimate them than to overestimate them. Already during my studies a man advised me not to respond to a job offer with “I think I can do it” as many women do, but with “Yes, I can.”

Read also: How to better negotiate your salary as a woman

Also known is a job vacancy text example with required skills. If the guys score six points out of ten, they are likely to advance. Women are more likely to not respond if they can tick “only” eight out of ten ticks.

Training and the right models can change this. But I think there’s more to natural humility that gets in the way sometimes. That is, society expects a certain attitude from women. Women often remain young, both consciously and unconsciously.

Expectations of a “good woman”

The stereotype of the “good woman” lives on in our society. They are sweet and gentle, with a preference for harmony. Therefore, a direct woman is often called – by both men and women – a more unfriendly description than a direct man.

In addition, we expect the “good women” to remain in the background. While you are within organizations, it is important to be visible in order to be promoted.

“Fortunately” a profession is not something a “good woman” should be concerned about according to society. Motherhood is much more important. Just take a look at the discussion about mothers who work full time. They are often criticized, while there are enough men with children (or women without children) and work a whole week.

Women who give their opinion are often described as ’emotional’ or ‘cold’.

We expect something very different from a leader in business. We often think of masculine qualities as decisiveness and persuasiveness. We unconsciously attribute these traits to men, even though masculine means something different than being masculine.

Decisive woman at the helm of the company? This is not in line with our expectations about the way a woman should behave. A woman who gives her unfiltered opinion is often described as “emotional” or “cold.” If a man does the same, he can often count on awe.

A strong captain and a fun football dad

How does this come? Research shows that there is a positive relationship between men the like And you have a successful career as a leader. When a CEO takes a strong stand at an important meeting, we still think he’s an out-of-hours sociable dad standing by the soccer field cheering his child up.

The same association is equally strong for women, but in a negative sense. A CEO who raises her voice during a meeting can expect a comment like “You’ll get it at home.”

The result: women may be reluctant to express themselves so that they are not seen as cruel. This is not good for inner vision and necessary self-promotion.

It doesn’t help that the top in many institutions is masculine. Other female behavior is out of place. Soft qualities often have no place, because we are looking for a strong, exemplary leader.

In short, women can’t do it right. Modesty is detrimental to his career. If a woman takes a hard line, she is often accused of being “half a man.” Talk about a paradox.

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