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The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance – What Women Should Know

Over the past few months I have reviewed books meant for women in the workplace. There are many similarities between the books, with a few differences. The Confidence Code put a bow on the presents that were these three books. The reason? This book goes behind the advice to talk about the physiology behind the differences between men and women. It doesn’t just talk about the differences, the book gives some hard data on brain function and chemistry that gives us the why. Knowing the why gives us a path forward.

Confidence. Some of us have it in spades, while others seem to be lacking it. Is it hardwired in our DNA, or something that is learned and gained through experiences? Are men more likely to be full of bravado? And if so why? Kay and Shipman take a look into the roots of confidence, by researching neuroscience and interviewing women leaders for their take on how confidence is gained and utilized.

Men are taught from an early age how to be confident and fail without having it define them. They are taught how to be strong and brave. Woman are often taught humility, to not come across as self-assured lest it be seen as cocky or arrogant. Men are assertive, women are given less flattering terms. Why? The Confidence Code helps us understand how to we got here, and how to do something about it. It tells us all how to become confident without being cocky, to be resilient in the face of challenges.

The Confidence Code is a powerful read for anyone, even though it is written for women. As a man with daughters, I would love all of them to read it. If it were available, I would have loved to have them read it when they were teenagers!
Would they have made different choices? Would their lives be better? I would like to think so. I hope you do too.


Katty Kay and Claire Shipman


Harper Business, Reprint Edition



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