The Confidence Crisis: women in the workplace


Dr Belinda Board’s recent keynote speech at a global women’s leadership forum explored the “Confidence Crisis” of women in the workplace, and outlined peoplewise’s new longitudinal research on the trajectory of confidence development in girls through to adulthood.

Enhancing gender equality in the workplace has been of interest to organisations and researchers alike for many years. Yet despite increased awareness of the issue over recent decades, women still only hold around 15-20% of senior leadership positions globally, and earn 81p for every £1 their male counterparts do. In her talk to a group of 70 women in business, Dr Board explored the roots of this issue, drawing out the psychological capabilities, in particular confidence, that our research to date has shown drive leadership success.

We know that relative to males, females have a tendency towards low confidence, yet little is known about how this barrier can be overcome, and the causes behind it. During her talk, Dr Board shared existing strategies that peoplewise has developed for overcoming the confidence crisis. These include the minimisation of unhelpful thinking strategies, and the transformation of a leader’s “inner critic” into their “inner coach”. These strategies and techniques inform the peoplewise coaching approach, through which we have enabled change in thousands of leaders worldwide. To find out more about our coaching programmes click here, or contact us to discuss bespoke solutions for your organisation.

In addition, Dr Board introduced new longitudinal research by peoplewise, which focuses on the trajectory of confidence development across adolescence from girls to adulthood. The research will identify the transition points that cause an individual’s confidence to tip and lead to the confidence crisis. Check back here for updates as the research progresses.

Click here to view a video summary of the talk, and you can also download a copy of the slides here.