You hear it everywhere: Women are killing it these days. They’re doing better in school than their male counterparts and going on to fantastic careers. And yet... men still get promoted faster and paid more. So what gives?
While there are plenty of factors that contribute to women’s slowed or limited trajectory, there’s a growing body of evidence that one big reason we haven’t yet shattered the glass ceiling is something far more basic: a lack of confidence (as the recent Atlantic piece elucidates in great detail). Ruthless self-doubt does plague scores of women and keeps them stymied in a zillion ways (I know, because it happens to me). Still, gender comparison can only help us to a point.
I want to take men out of the picture for a moment because while they serve as a benchmark and point of comparison, the truth is, women play a huge role in other women’s self-doubt. Why?
Because most of the time, women are very busy comparing themselves to other women, not other men. A man gets something you wanted (the job, a raise, etc) and you can chalk it up to the gender thing. But when a woman beats you out, eyes narrow. That’s when you ask yourself, “What does she have that I don’t?”