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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • In the workplace, confidence results in promotions for those who ask

  • Using a compelling data set, journalists Katty Kay and Claire Shipman argue in The Atlantic that women don't ask for raises, promotions or the like because they don't think they deserve it. Men, they said, attribute their own success to themse
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  • A new article suggests that women are less likely than men to hold positions of influence in the workplace due to nothing more than their lack of confidence. Using a compelling data set, journalists Katty Kay and Claire Shipman argue in The Atlantic that women don't ask for raises, promotions or the like because they don't think they deserve it. Men, they concluded, attribute their own success to themselves. Women tend to downplay their role in their own rise to the top. The pair interviewed many successful women, who all credited their good fortune to circumstance or luck. "For guys," WNBA star Monique Currie of the Washington Mystics said, "I think they have maybe 13 or 15 player rosters, but all the way down to the last player on the bench, who doesn't get to play a single minute, I feel like his confidence is just as big as the superstar of the team. For women, it's not like that." Ernesto Reuben, a professor at Columbia Business School, did a study published in 2011 that concluded men rated their performance on a set of math problems to be about 30 percent higher than it was. He said men are not trying to fool anyone, they just are honestly overconfident. "Take the penchant many women have for assuming the blame when things go wrong, while crediting circumstance - or other people - for their successes," Kay and Shipman wrote. "David Dunning, the Cornell psychologist, offered the following case in point: In Cornell's math Ph.D. program, he's observed, there's a particular course during which the going inevitably gets tough. Dunning has noticed that male students typically recognize the hurdle for what it is, and respond to their lower grades by saying, 'Wow, this is a tough class.' Women tend to respond differently. When the course gets hard, Dunning told us, their reaction is more likely to be 'You see, I knew I wasn't good enough.' That's internal attribution, and it can be debilitating." However, not everyone was impressed by the data and studies and real-life experiences described by the article. Amanda Hess at Slate isn't sure acting more like men is the way for women to get ahead. She said there are plenty of these types of books by women who have managed to hit the top, like Sheryl Sandberg and Arianna Huffington, and the advice they give is not helpful for the average employee. "Enough, ladies: Would a man subtly layer his own self-help book with anticipated criticisms?" Hess wrote. "But while we're at it, here's my own critique: It's a little crass to push out book after book fawning over the success secrets of the world's rich and powerful when so many Americans are living on the unfortunate end of extreme income inequality (and not because they don't raise their hands enough in board meetings). Just reading chapter after chapter about my insufferable meekness is exhausting, and I definitely lack the constitution to try to warp my personality into that of the most popular guy in the MBA class." Amanda Duberman of the Huffington Post said the problem is not a lack of confidence on the part of women, but a lack of acceptance in the workplace of different types of personalities and management styles. "To misattribute workplace inequality to women's inherent lack of confidence is to ignore a very simple, widely recognized fact: sexism exists," Duberman said. "We may never narrow the confidence gap, but a few of us will have to leap to the other side and make conditions more favorable for the rest."%3Cimg%20src%3D%22http%3A//beacon.deseretconnect.com/beacon.gif%3Fcid%3D164492%26pid%3D46%22%20/%3E

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