The most recent encouragement to just “fake it til you make it” comes from Katty Kay and Claire Shipman who published a feature on the “confidence gap” in the Atlantic. In the undoubtedly well-meaning piece, Kay and Shipman share troubling research outlining an equally gloomy picture: Women undervalue their accomplishments, and it’s holding them back in the workplace.
Although it’s true that some women suffer from more self-defeating thoughts and lower self-esteem, gender inequality can’t be reduced to mental health issues. Women’s lack of opportunities in the workplace are due to much deeper issues, and it’s time we admit that. Instead of telling women to change their personalities, maybe it’s time we take a look at the entire system.
Here’s a (non-exhaustive) list of ways we can help women that don’t include telling them just to hold their head up high.
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