How do you define confidence, particularly in the workplace?
Confidence is connected to awareness rather than to self-confidence. On average, women are more accustomed to analyzing their skills and capabilities and to have an opinion about them. They analyze their colleagues, the market. Men do this less. It would be interesting to monitor how many of those over confident men brilliantly pass the probationary period or their permissiveness in the role for which they are candidates. Having said this, for me, confidence is a mix of awareness and being brave.
How do you think the confidence gap affects women?
Having said that it is not a gap of self-confidence, I think the most critical impact is the lack of courage in seizing opportunities. Awareness of the future and the implications of one's choices negatively affects. Someone said Don’t leave before leave, this I would recommend.
Do you think women’s workplace confidence has improved over the past few decades? Please explain why.
Not so much. Not enough. The gap in gender pay is still so high, the gap in critical role is still so high.
How important have confidence and self-belief been in achieving your career goals? Please explain why.
It’s the key for career goals and for private life. The workplace is in general very male oriented, I’m talking about language, approach, capability development, to be effective and achieve goals its necessary respect our nature, approach but increase our capability to understand our talent and use that to achieve goals and growth.
Have you ever experienced imposter syndrome (where you doubt your achievements and have an internalised fear of being exposed as a “fraud”)? If so, how did you overcome it?
Every day! :-) I’m an architect and I’m International HR Director in the aviation sector! All of my career was in different markets, and I grow by learning and doing. I had got an opportunity to increase my capability to “read” the business, environment. It’s not a limit but a straightness. I live with doubts that are for me the driver to learn but never thinking of being exposed as a fraud, never. My self-confidence is high but it doesn’t mean that I don’t have doubts or thinking how a work can do different or how I can be more effective in different environment.
How much has risk-taking contributed to your career development?
Very high. Without risk there is no change and there is no growth.
Can you give an example of a risk you’ve taken that has paid dividend?
It’s difficult, to be honest as all the risks I have taken (opportunities to change roles, different companies in different markets, more responsibilities, different countries) always paid off in my experience and growth. Sure, it is not easy but always a great opportunity to move and change myself and my career.
How important is mentoring, coaching and sponsorship in helping women to grow their confidence at work?
To be honest, to help the woman to grow, its important do mentoring, coaching and sponsorship to men. We are always thinking that the woman are not brave or self-confident enough and we need to help them, not sure that it’s the right approach. We are always thinking how we can help woman to live in a man’s world, it’s not the right approach. Why we don’t start to do the opposite? Let the woman being woman and help men to understand that there is a different way to work…
Coaching etc. is important for individuals not for “woman”.
How can confidence-building be built into career development strategies?
We should introduce in our T&D strategies and tools (assessment, job profiling, recruiting process, etc.) into a different paradigm. The woman brain, the woman learning and developing method, the woman way to be resilience is scientifically different from a man. To increase self-confidence, we need to include this paradigm in definition of Development target, in the measure technique etc. We cannot increase self-confidence without change the framework – the scenario where the self-confident is measured and evaluated.
What can be done to ensure a woman being assertive in the workplace doesn’t negatively impact on colleagues’ perceptions of her?
…again…negatively impact on colleagues? Why we don’t start to do something to ensure that man being assertive in the workplace doesn’t negatively impact? Nobody think that the man “assertiveness” is negative…I don’t like this question, sorry. This type of approach and question is what continue to separate the woman and man world at work, Diversity means give to the organisation capability to respect and work with different approach, attitude etc. We need to develop right condition (paradigm, method, measure) that not only respect different attitude but that can give them value.