I was just reading an article about precisely this.
Four Ways Women Stunt Their Careers Unintentionally:
Having combed through more than a thousand 360-degree performance assessments conducted in recent years, we’ve found, by a wide margin, that the primary criticism men have about their female colleagues is that the women they work with seem to exhibit low self-confidence.
Our gut says that this may partly be a perception issue — we’ve observed that men sometimes interpret (or misinterpret) an inclination in women to share credit or defer judgment as a lack of confidence. Still, perception or not, there is some research to suggest that women themselves feel less self-assured at work than men. A study released in 2011 by Europe’s Institute of Leadership and Management revealed that women report having lower confidence in regard to their careers:
- Men were more confident across all age groups, with 70% of males having high or very high levels of self-confidence, compared to 50% of the women surveyed.
- Half of women managers admitted to feelings of self-doubt about their performance and career, but only 31% of men reported the same.
- The study also found that this lack of confidence extends to a more cautious approach to applying for jobs and promotions: 20% of men said they would apply for a role despite only partially meeting its job description, compared to 14% of women.