Women Less Likely to Self-PromoteJanuary 15, 2020
Despite having equal or even better skills to men, studies show that women are less likely to promote themselves at work. Whether it is because of self-doubt or a fear of being rejected, women tend to avoid promoting themselves, which often leads them to less powerful positions.
The idea of women avoiding self-promotion was found in several studies. One study’s data found that men were 33 percent more likely to promote themselves than equally performing women. The study also found that one’s comfortability with self-promotion often depended on two things, one’s confidence and strategic incentives.
Test Determines Self-Promoting Factors
To determine an individual’s performance, the participants each took a test that included both math and science questions. Next, the study determined everyone’s confidence level about their test results by asking each participant to predict the amount of questions they got right on the test. Finally, the test included four questions that often came up in a performance review. These questions helped identify everyone’s subjective evaluation of their own test.
To incentivize the participants, they were each told that an employer would view the answers to their self-promotion questions. However, they were each told that the employers would hire the employees based on their answers to the self-promotion questions alone, not the test performance. The results determined that the average man rated himself a 61 out of 100. While women tended to have equal performances on the exam; the average woman rated herself a 46 out of 100. Ultimately, this lack of self-promotion led to fewer opportunities for the females compared to the males.
Importance of Self-Promotion
One reason women may feel pressured to avoid promoting themselves is a fear of backlash. According to previous data, it is more likely that a woman will receive backlash for self-promotion than a man. Experts agree that this double standard leads women to speak less favorably about themselves, despite equal or better job performance. Ultimately, this leads women to obtain fewer opportunities than men.
The ability to promote oneself is an important skill, especially in the workplace. This is because being good at self-promotion helps an individual gain important opportunities. Some of these opportunities include getting hired, promoted, or receiving a bonus at work. Those who feel uncomfortable talking highly of themselves may find that they receive fewer opportunities than those who do.
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