Why Women Don't Apply for Jobs Unless They're 100% Qualified

Sep 8, 2014 9:15 AM ET
Reasons why people didn't apply for certain jobs. 1stGig -job search for new college graduates

From the 1stGig Blog

There was a great article in Harvard Business Review on Aug. 25, 2014 about why women don’t apply for jobs unless they’re 100% qualified for the position. Tara Sophia Mohr wrote the article based on the findings from a Hewlett Parkard internal report, as well as the conversations that have been taking place based on the books Lean In, The Confidence Code and dozens of articles this year.

Do you think it’s true? As someone who has hired hundreds of people in the past three decades, there are certainly some human truths to the perspective. The author points to an article from earlier this year that looked into women’s confidence when applying for jobs. The author points out that, “Men are confident about their ability at 60%, but women don’t feel confident until they’ve checked off each item on the list.”  I can certainly remember women and men applying for the same position. In virtually every case, the men were far more confident and women more passive when discussing their skills and what they could bring to the organization.

The writer decided to dig deeper into the perception and surveyed over a thousand men and women, mostly American professionals, and asked them, “If you decided not to apply for a job because you didn’t meet all the qualifications, why didn’t you apply?” Though not statistically valid, the qualitative look at the topic yields some interesting insights. Lack of confidence didn’t appear to be an issue for the men and women she surveyed, rather they referenced other reasons for for not applying for a position. Visit the blog post for the results:

Written by Barb Hernandez. Barb is a Public Relations Guru (APR), with more than three decades of living and working in southern Wisconsin, working with clients around the globe. Her specialties include writing, crisis management and strategic communications for hundreds of diverse industries from agriculture, healthcare and the environment to science, veteran support and community giving.