Janet Crawford

The Truth about Confidence

Janet CrawfordWomen just need to believe in themselves more. That’s often the prescription for righting gender inequities in the workplace. But a big part of the confidence gap is not being addressed, says Janet Crawford, CEO of Cascadance, Inc., an organizational change firm that helps companies address issues of under-representation and create cultures of inclusion.

“Low confidence is not an individual phenomenon, but is in part, a general consequence of something called stereotype threat,” Crawford says. “When you’re one of a few women in a department or the only woman in upper management, part of your brain becomes devoted to monitoring how you’re being perceived, whether you’re representing your group well or confirming negative stereotypes. As a result of this split attention, you feel anxious and may even underperform—and over time, your confidence flags.” Read More

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