Women face a number of challenges in the workplace. One of the most prevalent is overcoming confidence issues brought on by both internal and external perceptions and biases. Sexism in the workplace persists, and it has a direct impact on company culture.
According to an article in Fast Company, behavioural evidence compiled over the past two decades suggests workplace gender bias still exists in ways many people don’t realize, particularly for women in male-dominated professions. Gendered stereotypes — for instance, the idea that women are naturally caring, warm and emotional, while men are decisive, rational and objective — are so embedded in our culture that people often subscribe to them without realizing it.
The article went on to describe research that supports this subtle bias: Women who succeed in male domains are disliked, women who promote themselves are less hireable, women who negotiate for higher pay are penalized and women who express anger are given lower status.
Building confidence: When women are outnumbered in the workplace, they often lack the confidence to speak up because they believe that their opinion will not be valued or heard. Taking ownership of your ideas will help, especially during meetings.
Fighting back against gender bias: always let people know when their actions affect you negatively, it would be very professional if you can do this privately. The best way to show confidence is to discover what makes you unique and then balance your strengths with the others around you, including the men in your workplace.