Today: Jul 14, 2024

School of Business presents information on the gender confidence gap

Jack Abbot- General Reporter

The School of Business hosted a presentation on the gap of confidence in the workplace between men and women. 

Michelle Lenzi, a recruit of Northwestern Mutual, delivered a presentation on Wednesday that discussed a pattern of women experiencing less confidence in the workforce to their male counterparts, even when performing at a similar level of competency. This pattern is referred to as “The Confidence Gap.” 

“Successful women cannot lean in on a stretcher that cannot support their weight without their opportunities collapsing around them,” Lenzi said. 

According to Lenzi, gender does not affect the level of confidence displayed by children. However, starting at about 5th grade, the confidence of males to perform academic tasks tends to increase while the confidence of females tends to decrease. This is a trend that continues when entering the workforce and throughout their careers.  

Studies have shown that women are more likely to have aspirations of reaching top management than men as new employees. However, the statistics show the opposite for experienced employees and senior leaders. In terms of how confident they are at reaching top management, women show less confidence at each level.  

Lenzi described what it was like to be one of the first women in her own office. 

“I was lucky in that because our office was so small, and I basically built it, I didn’t experience it right away” Lenzi said.  

Promoting the success of women in the workplace is not just beneficial for the employee. Studies have shown that it can improve many other aspects of the workplace.  

According to the presentation, organizations that are rated highly for “diversity and inclusion” experience 57% higher team collaboration, 19% higher retention, and are 45% more likely to see an improved market share and 70% more likely to see success in new markets. 

The event ran from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. in the School of Business. Despite the trend being prevalent in education and employment, Lenzi believes that universities are a good example of how to remove the confidence gap.  

“I think colleges these days are doing a really great job promoting different majors that you might not have thought of before to women’s groups,” Lenzi said. “Most campuses have some sort of women’s group.” 

The university has a number of organizations that focus on promoting diversity and encouraging people of various genders and backgrounds to have confidence in their education. 

“Southern is very effective at providing the resources for diverse groups to succeed, with a supportive network of teachers and an extensive range of clubs and organization,” business management major Damien Davies, a sophomore said. “Southern not only provides students with an environment to achieve a good education, it also allows those same students to access valuable resources to succeed after they leave.” 

After the presentation, the floor was opened to the audience where many shared their own experiences within the workplace. Attendees provided each other with advice and encouragement for how to stay confident in the workplace. 

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