by Wendy Williams
Originally published: July 10, 2017
Well-documented barriers to organizational influence and career growth exist for women. In my research together with Prof. Margarita Mayo (IE Business School) and Natalia Karelaia (INSEAD), we study gender differences in self-confidence appearance. Drawing from a multisource, time-lag data from a multinational software development company that employs over 4,000 people worldwide, we studied supervisor perceptions of how confident their employees appear to be in their ability to successfully complete their job responsibilities.
Our results show that in male-typed positions, job performance and self-confidence appearance go hand in hand for both men and women. In particular, successful performance makes both men and women appear self-confident in the eyes of their supervisors. However, we also found that self-confidence appearance is not equally rewarded for men and women. Where the self-confidence appearance of high-performing men directly enabled their influence in the organization, this was only true for high-performing women who also had a high prosocial orientation.