Wednesday 25 April 2018

Women may break glass ceiling - but are still crippled by self-doubt

A recent study found 40pc of millennial women experienced self-doubt at work, compared to 22pc of men. Stock Image: PA
A recent study found 40pc of millennial women experienced self-doubt at work, compared to 22pc of men. Stock Image: PA

Sarah Knapton

Women may have broken through the glass ceiling and into the boardroom but are still crippled by self-doubt, even when they are as intelligent as men, a new study suggests.

In the first research of its kind, psychologists in the US asked a group of university students to rate their abilities compared with classmates.

They found gender played a large role in perception of intelligence, with women believing they were less intelligent than others, even when their grades were equally good. Men thought themselves more intelligent.

Katelyn Cooper, a doctoral student at Arizona State University School of Life Sciences and lead author, said: "Over and over again, women would tell me they were afraid other students thought they were stupid. I never heard this from men in those same biology classes."

The study found women were far more likely to underestimate their own intelligence. When comparing female and male students, male students thought they were cleverer than around 66pc of the class, while female students thought they were smarter only than 54pc.

A recent study found 40pc of millennial women experienced self-doubt at work, compared to 22pc of men. And the Institute of Leadership and Management in England found half of female leaders experienced self-doubt, in contrast to fewer than a third of male managers.

Previously, experts claimed women are more likely to blame themselves for setbacks and believe successes are down to luck.

Irish Independent

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