Newspaper article The Canadian Press

'The Confidence Code' Aims to Silence Feelings of Self-Doubt Hindering Women

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

'The Confidence Code' Aims to Silence Feelings of Self-Doubt Hindering Women

Article excerpt

Book seeks to crack 'Confidence Code' for women


TORONTO - A book exploring the need for women to channel and boost their confidence proved eye-opening for co-author Claire Shipman -- especially when she turned a critical lens on herself.

"One of the most valuable things for me in all the research is the impact it's had on my parenting. I have really realized that it's so important for kids to fail and to have struggles," said Shipman, mother to son Hugo, 13, and daughter Della, 10.

"I think as a perfectionist and then a helicopter-ish parent ... I fall into the trap of: 'Let me just make things easy for them' or 'I want to fix things' or 'I want them to go well.'"

In the bestseller "The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance -- What Women Should Know" (Harper Business), Shipman and co-author Katty Kay explore why even the most accomplished, educated and skilled women are often plagued by a lack of self-belief.

The Washington, D.C.-based journalists also seek to define the concept of confidence and investigate the nature and nurture factors at play.

Anecdotes and research reveal a reluctance among many women to seize opportunities for advancement.

A Hewlett-Packard study aimed at determining how to draw more women into top management found the company's female employees only applied for promotions when they believed they met 100 per cent of the qualifications. Meanwhile, the men were "happy to apply" when they thought they could meet 60 per cent of the job requirements.

Other studies found female business school students negotiated for significantly less in salary compared to their male counterparts.

Even female global leaders aren't immune to self-doubt.

"The Confidence Code" features an interview with Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund. She confessed to moments where she needed to "go deep inside" as a way to reassure herself of her strength, confidence and abilities.

Lagarde also admitted she overprepares -- a habit she realized she shared with German Chancellor Angela Merkel after a discussion they had. …

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