Women are very critical of themselves in the professional world - this is also the result of the study “Women are too self-critical”. The results show: Women tend to rate their skills way lower than the people around them would do. The study confirms the for a long time criticized gender-gap regarding the self-evaluation of professional performance of women.
In order to find out why women react like that and what they can do about it, we talked to business coach Britta-Kristin Beyer of “Innovation Mensch” consultancy. She says that women in fact try to fit into a very tight social corset.
Social media and the uncountable possibilities of today create an unnatural image of the “super-woman”, who doesn’t exist in reality. However, this picture makes women feel insecure. They want to live up to that image and in doing so they drift away from their real self instead of listening to their own feelings and intuition.
The gap between self-perception and external perception is getting bigger and bigger. But the self-criticism seems ungrounded. Women are perceived positively by their direct environment like colleagues and supervisors. This gap between self- and external perception is about one third higher than amongst men. Also their actual skills are rated much higher within said study than women rate them themselves.
Due to this sceptical attitude of themselves, women stand in the way of their own career. When opportunities arise, women act very hesitantly, think too much about their qualifications for the job or if they have enough experience and are good enough for this position. Men on the other hand are more pragmatic, they just do it. True to the motto: fake it, till you make it. They do it and develop in the process. Learning by doing. Most men follow the attitude: “the journey is the reward” and “I’ll bring home the bacon eventually”.
Today, women have way more opportunities than ever before, but at what point does a woman become a respected and successful woman in our society? Are the existing notions really realistic or are they rather a burden? Having high expectation on oneself can lead to too much pressure and a reserved perception of one’s own skills. To stay true to oneself, undeterred by one’s environment, would be a huge first step.
Women have to get rid of their perfectionism and other obstacles and start from the beginning! The simple difference lies in “selling oneself” and being more courageous to express your needs. Normally, people decide in favor of people who seem to be more self-confident and competent. “Everybody can learn this kind of charisma if you work on yourself.” underlines Kristin Beyer.
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Wilgen and the alugha team
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