Why do so many women—even women who have achieved unprecedented success in the public and private sectors—lack the self-assurance that drives many of their male colleagues? “Psychologists uniformly agree that a little bit of overconfidence is better than a little bit of under-confidence, which is what most women suffer from,” says BBC World News America anchor Katty Kay. In this podcast, Kay explains the research behind confidence, plus why—and how—women should work on boosting the confidence they’ve got. Key takeaways: —Confidence is a belief that you have the ability to succeed at something. It’s not the same as self-esteem. —Women consistently underestimate their abilities—whereas men consistently overestimate them. —Research shows that “when it comes to success, confidence matters more than competence.” —Confidence is 25-50% determined by your genes—but you can actually change your brain’s wiring at any point in life, simply by acting more confident. —Confidence breeds confidence. As you take actions, risks, and step outside your comfort zone, you build mastery—a major driver of confidence. —Being a confident woman does not mean trying to imitate men, but it does mean showing up, raising your hand, and applying for those promotions in a way that is authentic for you. —To start boosting your confidence right now, commit to countering every negative automatic thought you have with three positive ones.
Katty Kay is the anchor of “BBC World News America,” based in Washington, D.C. She is also a frequent contributor to “Meet the Press” and “Morning Joe,” and a regular guest host for “The Diane Rehm Show” on NPR. In addition to her work on women’s issues, Kay has covered the Clinton administration sex scandal, three Presidential elections and the wars in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq. She was at the Pentagon just 20 minutes after a hijacked plane flew into the building on 9/11 – one of her most vivid journalistic memories is of interviewing soldiers still visibly shaking from the attack. Kay grew up all over the Middle East, where her father was posted as a British diplomat. She studied modern languages at Oxford and is a fluent French and Italian speaker with some “rusty Japanese.” Kay juggles her journalism with raising four children with her husband, a consultant. Learn more here.