According to the self-report of the respondents, the barrier to applying was not lack of confidence. They thought that the required qualifications were…well, required qualifications. What held them back from applying was not a mistaken perception about themselves, but a mistaken perception about the hiring process.
This is why, I think, the Hewlett Packard report finding is so often quoted, so eagerly shared amongst women, and so helpful. For those women who have not been applying for jobs because they believe the stated qualifications must be met, the statistic is a wake-up call that not everyone is playing the game that way.
It makes perfect sense that women take written job qualifications more seriously than men, for several reasons:. For instance, a McKinsey report found that men are often hired or promoted based on their potentialwomen for their experience and track record. Second, girls are strongly socialized to follow the rules and in school are rewarded, again and again, for doing so.
Third, certifications and degrees have historically played a different role for women than for men.
The 20 th century saw women break into professional life — but only if they had the right training, the right accreditations. These qualifications were our ticket in, our way of proving we could do the job.
That history can, I think, lead women to see the workplace as more orderly and meritocratic than it really is. As a result we may overestimate the importance of our formal training and qualifications, and underutilize advocacy and networking.
When I went into the work world as a young twenty-something, I was constantly surprised by how often, it seemed, the emperor had no clothes. Major decisions were made and resources were allocated based not on good data or thoughtful reflection, but based on who had built the right relationships and had the chutzpah to propose big plans.
When it comes to applying for jobs, women need to do the same. You have 1 free article s left this month. You are reading your last free article for this month.
Subscribe for unlimited access. on Gender or related topic Hiring. She is the creator of the Playing Big Facilitators Training program for coaches, mentors, managers and leadership development professionals who want to support women in playing bigger.
Access more articles and resources from Tara here. Partner Center.