Confident women less influential than male colleagues

Confident high-performing women are only influential at the workplace if they are also perceived as “nurturing”.

What’s wrong with being confident? Nothing at all – unless you’re a woman in the workplace, that is.

A new research study from business school INSEAD indicates self-confidence in the office is more rewarding for men than women.

The study, which analysed the judgements of 236 computer engineers at a multinational software company, found that the correlation between confidence and influence was straightforward for a man: the better he performs, the more self-confident he is perceived as being, and the greater the influence he wields in the workplace.

High-performing and confident women, on the other hand, were only considered influential by peers and supervisors if those traits were partnered with “nurturing” behaviour (e.g. “I care about benefiting others through  my work”).

The study, led by INSEAD Associate Professor of Decision Sciences Natalia Karelaia, measured and analysed job performance, “prosocial orientation” (one’s level of concern for others’ welfare), self-confidence, and organisation influence to draw the above results.

“For companies that care about gender equality, if being a good organisational citizen and helping others is a requirement, it should be so for men and women equally,” said Professor Karelaia.

“Organisations should be willing to question the assumptions of meritocracy. It is obvious that women are not accepted on their merits alone, so supervisors should take these findings into account when appraising the performance of their female staff,” she added.

Appearing self-confident and getting credit for it: Why it may be easier for men than women to gain influence at work

Click here for more Diversity News Click here for more Leadership News Click here for more Talent Management News
Significant number of men expect intimate office relations
- 16 Mar 2018
A new global poll finds that a significant share of men expect intimate interactions from employees.
International Women's Day in Pictures
- 15 Mar 2018
We look back at how some organisations marked this year's International Women's Day.
Why GSK is redefining the meaning of career development
Kelvin Ong - 13 Mar 2018
HR Insider preview: GlaxoSmithKline wants its people to think of their careers in terms of experiences, not job titles.
HRM Awards 2018: Best Diversity & Inclusion Strategies
- 13 Mar 2018
Singtel beat out 11 other finalists to win the Best Diversity & Inclusion Strategies at HRM Awards 2018.
Work-Life Grant to be extended and enhanced
- 12 Mar 2018
The Singapore government is enhancing a scheme that promotes flexible working arrangements.
Diversity progress potentially stalled in Singapore
- 08 Mar 2018
New research shows that a greater focus on gender diversity might need to be a goal for employers in Singapore in 2018.