#theconfidencecode @ClaireShipman @KattyKayBBC – another collection of personal musings whilst conducting research of the #davidfosterwallace archive at the Harry Ransom Center, UT, Austin, TX (Day Eight)

I’m not a reader of The Atlantic, ordinarily, but there are magazines strewn around my room and so I’ve been flicking through them to see what’s up. One article that grabbed my attention is ‘The Confidence Gap’ by Claire Shipman and Katty Kay, authors of The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance – What Women Should Know. Now, I’m a little slow off the mark here because we’re talking about the May 2014 edition of The Atlantic, but hey-ho, it’s interesting – so here goes. And this post will be spread out into bite-size chunks because some of my posts happen to be huge and I get the impression that that’s off-putting.


Point #1: “Women applied for a promotion only when they believed they met 100 per cent of the listed qualifications. Men would apply when they met 60 per cent.”

It is fascinating to consider that ‘women’ (and there’s no time to break this word and its meaning down into components, even though I’m well aware that such a generic term cannot represent all ‘biological females’ (and now I’m sinking a little further because if I have to qualify this phrase we could be here all day) – I’ll just assume that you’ll roll with me on this one because I didn’t write the article, I’m just commenting on it) feel the need to ‘be’ utterly perfect (because if you have to wait until you’re 100 per cent of something then that’s what you’re doing) before taking the next logical step: promotion. This would imply that said women are unwilling to take a risk, chance, punt, bet, shot, etc., when it comes to furthering their careers. And what about the ‘men?’ 60 per cent capable of doing a job and yet they still apply for it? This would imply that men have no hang-ups about waiting to be perfect; they’ll just throw it out there and see what comes back. Where does this great expectation come from; an expectation that leaves women no wiggle room, no margin of error?

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