Now’s a better time than ever to be a woman in business, and all you have to do to succeed is believe in yourself.
“Since 1998, the gender pay gap has been trending down. It’s fallen more than 40 percent,”
“However, while the gap has closed over the past 20 years, on average women are still paid less for an hour’s work than men.” (Stats NZ).
The gender pay gap in New Zealand was only 9.4% last year, which is a hairline of a difference from the record low of 9.1% in 2012. This is great progress for our little country, but we’ve still got a long way to go. While many complex factors contribute to this outcome, I think there is some merit in exploring our difference in self-efficacy: whether you believe you can or can’t succeed.
In a recent 2018 study done by the University of Agder, Lahdenperä found that on average a female student was less confident in her abilities to succeed in a course, and another study in the Canadian Journal of Education (2005) found that females tend to be under-confident relative to their actual achievement whereas as males tend toward over-confidence, even in contexts where females may achieve higher. But what does confidence have to do with our pay gap?
Let’s talk about it. A woman’s lack of insight as to how clever or capable she really is could mean she talks herself out of the promotions and business opportunities before she’d even formally considered how appropriate she might be for the opportunity. There’s that saying that goes something along the lines of “men will apply for something when they have at least 10% of the job description for, whereas women will only do so if they think they have at least 80% of the job description”. So females may have all the potential in the world but if they can’t recognise it and put themselves up for the positions that (frankly) earn more, then that pay gap may never close.
Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.– Henry Ford