Business of Men

5 ways to leap the confidence gap and get that promotion


It is common knowledge that women are generally less confident than men in the workplace. Yes, we know we can get the job done – and probably our boss’s job too — but we don’t always show that confidence publicly, in the way that men do. That’s often leads to the impression we’re not confident … and let’s face it: perception is reality, especially in the business world.

The confidence gap is one of the main reasons women don’t put themselves forward for promotions, don’t apply for higher-level jobs, and don’t try to enter particular industries. And it’s also one of the main reasons they are paid less and are STILL not reaching high level executive and board positions in sufficient numbers.

When it comes to equality in the workplace, far too much focus is placed on blaming the boys club (which yes clearly exists) instead of accepting its reality. This means working on ways women can develop themselves in order to be equipped to face a workplace long ruled by men – who are generally always working towards the next rung on the ladder.

To explain the confidence gap a little more, let’s look at a very common scenario …

A position within a company is available and there are many candidates both male and female who could apply. The men look at the role and see they are only 60% qualified for it – so they smile and think, fantastic, it’s just for me. Women will look at the same role and see they are 90% qualified and hesitate, question the 10% and then say to themselves they aren’t ready for the role.

This needs to stop. We can’t change the male ego and their exceptional level of confidence but we CAN change how we see ourselves and how we approach opportunities.

1. Know yourself

Look at your ability to adapt. Instead of looking at what you can’t do in the role, look at your ability to take on new challenges and responsibilities. It is easier to learn on the job if you have the ability to learn and adapt.

2. Analyse your experience

Mind map how your previous experience. List all the jobs and roles in your past and look at how these skills can be applied in a new industry or a more senior role. Reshape your CV while doing it, if necessary.

3. Think like a man

If you think you are at least 60% qualified then go for it. You will learn the 40% on the job.

4. Talk yourself up

To yourself and also when applying for the job. This will also assist with the salary negotiations. The attitude when hiring a man is “how much do you think he will want for us to secure him” and when hiring a woman it is “how little can we get her for”. The more value you place on yourself, the more valuable they will see you as being.

5. Discuss it with your mentor/sponsor

A mentor/sponsor is someone who will put your name forward for new roles, projects and promotions. They will always have your best interests at heart and will tell you straight up whether you are capable of taking on the role.

Just remember that people will treat you the way you let them treat you. Period.


About Amanda Rose

Founder and CEO of The Business Woman Media. Amanda Rose is also the only 'strategic connector', a brand strategist, keynote speaker and host of Amanda Rose TV. Connect with Amanda Rose on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or visit

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