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

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

4.3 9
by Katty Kay

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Following the success of Lean In and Why Women Should Rule the World, the authors of the bestselling Womenomics provide an informative and practical guide to understanding the importance of confidence—and learning how to achieve it—for women of all ages and at all stages of their career.

Working women today are better


Following the success of Lean In and Why Women Should Rule the World, the authors of the bestselling Womenomics provide an informative and practical guide to understanding the importance of confidence—and learning how to achieve it—for women of all ages and at all stages of their career.

Working women today are better educated and more well qualified than ever before. Yet men still predominate in the corporate world. In The Confidence Code, Claire Shipman and Katty Kay argue that the key reason is confidence.

Combining cutting-edge research in genetics, gender, behavior, and cognition—with examples from their own lives and those of other successful women in politics, media, and business—Kay and Shipman go beyond admonishing women to "lean in."Instead, they offer the inspiration and practical advice women need to close the gap and achieve the careers they want and deserve. 

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Erin Gloria Ryan
In The Confidence Code, Kay and Shipman train a gimlet eye on an unspoken problem among women at all levels of achievement—nagging self-doubt…The pair embark on an engrossing trek through interviews with an array of successful women and seek the counsel of behavioral experts.
Publishers Weekly
Broadcast journalists Kay and Shipman (Womenomics) address the self-confidence gap between women and men, consulting a range of experts to determine what female confidence looks like and how it can be achieved. Their sources include WNBA players, successful entrepreneurs, and senior U.S. military, all of whom admit to facing crises in confidence. They visit a neuropsychologist studying rhesus monkeys to explore nature vs. nurture theories on anxiety and the brain’s neurotransmitters that enhance or inhibit confidence. The authors discuss obstacles to self-assurance women face like “negative habitual thought,” internalized pressure to conform to feminine stereotypes, and a “hormonal tendency to avoid risk.” Studies cited suggest women are more critical of their own scientific skills and spatial reasoning, and speak up less in a group setting. Kay and Shipman provide a great blueprint for raising daughters by discouraging perfectionism, noting that perfectionism smothers achievement and is the enemy of confidence. For readers themselves, the authors include techniques for eliminating “negative automatic thoughts” with self-compassion and recommend “quick fixes” like meditation, correct posture, and healthy habits. All of this research, as well as the authors’ own recounting of experiences with doubt in their professional lives, effectively builds into a comprehensive set of ingredients for the confident woman. (Apr.)
“[Kay and Shipman] have written an enlightening, fascinating book that explains the relationship between confidence, resilience, risk and reward….This book can definitely help you learn to boost your confidence.”
Joanna Coles
The Confidence Code belongs in the bagof every woman in America. It combines groundbreaking scientific research and firsthand accounts from the world’s most powerful woman.”
Gretchen Rubin
“How do we make the most of our talents, skills, and interests? This book demonstrates that it’s not enough to know what we’re doing; our confidence is a key factor in our success. Fascinating reading for every woman who wants to take her life to the next level.”
Marshall Goldsmith
“All too often, even the most successful women have indicated that their confidence is fleeting or domain-specific. The gifted authors who were behind Womenomics prove that can change. Discover how you can specifically develop that enduring sense of self-assurance in this remarkable book.”
Sheryl Sandberg
“Kay and Shipman shine a perceptive light on the crucial role that confidence plays in the ability of women to succeed. They offer women practical advice and the vision of a more hopeful future.”
“[Kay and Shipman dive] into tons of fascinating research and stats that are worth reading…[b]ut most importantly, the book provides some seriously actionable advice from some of the most successful women in the world (authors included).”
Library Journal
Why are men still higher fliers in business than women? Confidence, argue the authors of the New York Times best-selling Womenomics, who pull on research in gender, cognition, and behavior, as well as personal experience, to argue that business success is about more than just leaning in. With a 75,000-copy first printing.
Kirkus Reviews
In this follow-up to their 2009 best-seller, Womenomics, which argued for women's right to demand flexibility at the workplace, BBC World News America Washington correspondent Kay and Good Morning America contributor Shipman address how a lack of self-confidence hinders women's career advancement. In conversations among successful professional women, the authors have noticed a disturbing pattern: "Compared with men, we don't consider ourselves ready for promotions." Women, they write, often have the false belief that they should not appear too aggressive—"if we just work harder and don't cause any bother, our natural talents will shine through and be rewarded." As a result, their careers tend to prematurely plateau. Women lack the kind of self-assertiveness and self-confidence that propel their male counterparts forward, and the authors examine the reasons behind this phenomenon. Their investigation took them from the basketball court, where they spoke with WNBA stars Monique Currie and Crystal Langhorne, to the bastions of the International Monetary Fund and a conversation with Christine Lagarde, one of the most powerful women in the world. Through these interviews, Kay and Shipman confirmed their beliefs about the significant contrast between the typical male approach of pushing forward aggressively (e.g., shouting out questions or making unsubstantiated assertions in order to dominate meetings) and that of women, who instinctively hold back for fear of seeming pushy and aggressive. The authors attribute this to a lack of resilience and a drive for perfection, along with a tendency to dwell on past mistakes. After discussions with neuropsychologists and geneticists, they dismissed the importance of biological components (e.g., hormones or genes). Much more significant was the revelation by a recent graduate of the Naval Academy of the slang acronym that male cadets often apply to coeds: DUBs, or "dumb ugly bitches." An insightful look at how internalizing cultural stereotypes can hold women back from competing with men.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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Meet the Author

Katty Kay is the Washington, DC, anchor for BBC World News America. She is a regular guest on NBC's Meet the Press and MSNBC's Morning Joe. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband and four children.

Claire Shipman is a correspondent for ABC News and Good Morning America, covering politics, international affairs, and women's issues. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband, two children, and a new puppy.

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The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance---What Women Should Know 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a must read for women and girls of all ages. Most of us are well aware of the imposter syndrome (even if we didn’t realize it had been scientifically documented) but the science and research about women and confidence extends far beyond that. Shipman and Kay have taken all the available information, both documented and anecdotal, and distilled it into a lively and compelling read. I expected to find the book enlightening. I didn’t expect to find it so entertaining. Even better, the authors don’t stop at pointing out the shortcomings women have in the confidence arena, but offer ways to overcome them. The book is both informative and useful, and readers will walk away with tools to transform their own behavior. 
Remy2 More than 1 year ago
The Confidence Code does not disappoint!  There are key insights found in the interviews that give  a fresh perspective to a sisterhood of insecurity and how to successfully deal with it.  The research regarding  confidence leads the reader to develop personalized conclusions which can be carried into either  domestic or professional spheres.     
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My curiosity was piqued immediately. Do I focus on competence over confidence? And what really is confidence anyway. In "The Confidence Code," written with great insight, openness and a thoughtful and measured approach, the authors demystify the value of confidence in the marketplace and in everyday life and why it is some of us have it and some us don't. Mixing the right levels of science, intrigue, example, humor and humility--they even go as far as personal genetic testing to see how they fare on the confidence scale--the reader has all the available wisdom to "crack" the confidence code and better understand its impact on just about everything we do. Personally, I found myself listening to conversations in a different way--did a woman at my table just say "he was acting just like a woman and apologizing for everything all the time" --and thinking about my own effectiveness at work and with people in general. It was surprising. This is definitely a book that will be greatly talked about, learned from and enjoyed. I highly recommend it!
Gatowilhelm More than 1 year ago
It has very good content, several examples and even some scientific data. At the end of the book it starts to get a little redundant so that's why I'm giving it 4 stars...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It’s fun to read and at the same time provides some practical advice. It reminds of another very practical and interesting book I read recently Secret Techniques for Controlling Sadness, Anger, Fear, Anxiety, and Other Emotions by Vlad Koros, which deals with self-confidence as well as many other emotional issues. I highly recommend both these books.
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