"Just be confident." At some point, those words have been uttered by yourself to yourself, by an encouraging friend, or perhaps by a well-intentioned mentor.
Seems like pretty good advice on the surface.
The thing is confidence isn't something you can just turn on, it's something you have to truly embody. It's knowing what you're good at, believing you provide value and then conveying that belief externally.
And it's *really* hard to do. Turns out, it's especially hard for women. Countless studies have revealed there’s a prevailing 'Gender Confidence Gap'.
Below are just a few examples where men tend to be more confident than women and reap the rewards. After the infographic, we'll delve into the science behind why and what we can do to bolster our confidence.
So where did this confidence gap start? According to The Confidence Code, they’re a product of nature and nurture.
Here’s the science behind the nature part...
There’s the fear center, officially called the amygdalae. Women tend to activate this part of the brain more often than men, making us more likely to avoid risks, in turn, missing out on rewards. Plus, men have more testosterone, which only enhances their confidence in taking risks.
Furthermore, women have a larger worrywart center, also known as the anterior cingulate cortex. This makes us more likely to ruminate the past and spend time weighing pros and cons instead of taking action.
Here’s where the nurture part comes into play...
For years, girls have been rewarded for diligence and good behavior. As a result, we grow up to be perfectionists. And in order to live up to those perfect personas we’ve created in our heads, we overestimate risks and underestimate ourselves. Thus, avoiding action.
To remedy this, we must build up the courage to do the things we’re afraid of. Because only when we take action, will we come to realize there was nothing to fear at all.
Now is the time for us to take action.
The good news is we can support one another on this journey. Together, we can open ourselves up to opportunities to learn, to fail and get back up again. Together, we can close the gender gap.
For us, that means embarking on entrepreneurship and supporting fellow female business owners. We're committed to making each and every jacket at women-owned factories because we believe our dollar can pave the future we want to live in. It's a future where the next generation of girls aspire to be leaders, founders, and trailblazers.