Baker Stuart’s Insight: New research shows that although high-performing men and women rated themselves as equally confident in the workplace, their reasons for gaining influence in the company showed a sharp gender disparity. Although men were more likely to get ahead based on people perceiving them as self-confident, the research shows that this was not the case for women, who were judged on their warmth, or how caring and social they seemed. This is a fascinating finding which reveals the disparities we still may still need to tackle for gender equality in the workplace.
The confidence gap between men and women is a myth, according to Laura Guillén, Professor of Organisational Behaviour at ESMT Berlin, because women viewed as self-confident aren’t more likely to get ahead. For women, gaining influence at work is more closely tied to their warmth and caring than the appearance of self-confidence. Laura’s research, in collaboration with Margarita May of IE Business School and Natalia Karelaia of INSEAD, examined high-performing workers in a male-dominated technology company that employs more than 4,000 people worldwide. The research also suggests women are expected to care for others on top of their workload, whilst men are held to a lower standard of key performance indicators.
Laura says: “Despite there being no visible confidence gap in the way high-performing men and women rated themselves, their reasons for gaining influence in the company showed a sharp gender disparity. Although men viewed as self-confident were more likely […]