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The Confidence Gap: How Women Hold Themselves Back in the Business World

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I will explore that confidence gap between men and women and how it holds women back in a male-dominated business world. Then, I will give recommendations to businesswomen and managers

I will explore that confidence gap between men and women and how it holds women back in a male-dominated business world. Then, I will give recommendations to businesswomen and managers to overcome the confidence gap. Everyone knows that women on average get paid less per dollar than men. Clearly, this is partly due to a social ill that discriminates against women. However, I am not the type of person to sit back and wait for things to change. As a young woman graduating Barrett and moving onto law school, I wanted to explore what I myself can do to combat disadvantages I may encounter in the corporate world. My objective is to investigate the differences between men and women in the business world using the book, The Confidence Code, by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman as a framework for discussion. Is there a confidence gap between males and females and how is that hindering the latter in the workplace? Next, I will discuss why it is important for businesses to even care about having women on their teams at all. Finally, I will explore possible ways to build self-confidence in women in order to make them more successful in their careers. I will give recommendations to businesswomen themselves and to businesses in general to achieve this goal. For the purposes of this thesis, I will define confidence in business as "the belief that one is able to succeed at something" and furthermore, "the act of actually trying to be successful at something". To take it a step further, confidence also means being resilient instead of discouraged in the face of failure. Self-confidence is absolutely essential to a successful career as a businessperson. It is necessary to build skills such as: speaking up, sharing ideas, negotiating, applying for jobs, positions, projects, and promotions, not letting others intimidate you, not feeling the need to unnecessarily apologize, and to be proactive instead of hesitant. I found that part of the reason for the wage gap and why there are so few women CEOs is due to women's lack of confidence. For example, women do not initiate salary negotiations as often as men do and they ask for significantly less money when they do. Women will not apply for promotions unless they feel 100% qualified while men will go for it if they feel they have about half the qualifications. Then I decided to do research on whether or not women are as confident as men- and the answer is absolutely yes. Companies with more women in leadership positions outperform companies without. Men and women generally produce the same results but women still doubt themselves more. Finally, it turns out women actually have more effective leadership strategies then men. The confidence gap is due to many biological, psychological, and sociological factors. At the beginning of my research, I was frustrated by what I was finding. But the good news is that there are many ways women can overcome the confidence gap through reframing, taking action, and practice. There are ways businesses can foster a culture that meets the needs of women in a previously male dominated space. This information is empowering and I hope my thesis can help other women the way it has helped me.

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Date Created
  • 2016-05

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Witness Self-Efficacy: Development and Validation of the Construct

Description

Despite the application of Self-Efficacy Theory (Bandura, 1977, 2000) to many areas of psychology, there is a lack of research on self-efficacy in the ability to testify in court. The

Despite the application of Self-Efficacy Theory (Bandura, 1977, 2000) to many areas of psychology, there is a lack of research on self-efficacy in the ability to testify in court. The present study fills this gap by incrementally developing the construct of Witness Self-Efficacy and establishing its psychometric properties. Study I featured exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses yielding a two-factor Witness Self-Efficacy Scale (WSES). The two components are Poise and Communication Style. Study II used a second data collection to show that both WSES domains possess convergent, divergent, and predictive validity relations consistent with those expected using an SET framework. Notably, WSES components predicted perceptions of witness credibility and sentencing outcomes above and beyond witness extraversion, general self-efficacy and general self-confidence. Implications for SET and witness preparation training are discussed.

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Date Created
  • 2010