Appearing self-confident and getting credit for it: Why it may be easier for men than women to gain influence at work

Laura Guillén, Margarita Mayo, Natalia Karelaia

Producció científica: Article en revista indexadaArticleAvaluat per experts

45 Cites (Scopus)


Appearing self-confident is instrumental for progressing at work. However, little is known about what makes individuals appear self-confident at work. We draw on attribution and social perceptions literature to theorize about both antecedents and consequences of appearing self-confident for men and women in male-dominated professions. We suggest that performance is one determinant of whether individuals are seen as confident at work and that this effect is moderated by gender. We further propose that self-confidence appearance increases the extent to which individuals exert influence in their organizations. However, for women, appearing self-confident is not enough to gain influence. In contrast to men, women in addition are “required” to be prosocially oriented. Multisource, time-lag data from a technological company showed that performance had a positive effect on self-confidence appearance for both men and women. However, the effect of self-confidence appearance on organizational influence was moderated by gender and prosocial orientation, as predicted. Through self-confidence appearance, job performance directly enabled men to exert influence in their organization. In contrast, high-performing women gained influence only when their self-confidence appearance was coupled with prosocial orientation. Our results have practical implications for gender equality and leadership. They suggest that HR and senior management should play a key role in building more diversity-friendly organizations. In particular, ensuring that the same job requirements—explicit and implicit—are applied to both female and male employees is crucial for fair individual outcomes in organizations.

Idioma originalAnglès
Pàgines (de-a)839-854
Nombre de pàgines16
RevistaHuman Resource Management
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 1 de jul. 2018
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