I heard a staggering statistic recently. Men will apply for a job if they meet 60% of the qualifications, while women will apply only if they meet 100% of them. What the what?
As a woman working in the woman-dominated industry of public relations, my mind was blown. I’ve had the privilege of working with some extremely accomplished women throughout my career…And I shudder to think that any of them ever felt in any way inferior to a man just for the fact that he’s a man.
I’m not entirely sure what to make of this statistic. There’s the widely spread argument that women lack the level of confidence that a man must have to apply for a job he’s clearly not qualified to undertake. There’s also the argument that women were raised as rule-followers, and this statistic is merely a reflection of that and not of a feeling of inadequacy among women. I can’t say that I love either concept.
What if we took this beyond the job market? What if we, as women, were just more daring in what we choose to do, how we choose to live, and who we choose to be? We’re clearly the most qualified to live our own life, but how many of us hold ourselves back because we feel like we aren’t “enough” in one way or another? I’m guilty of not even throwing my hat in the ring because I didn’t feel worthy in almost every aspect of my life at some point — and I’m fairly certain I’m not the only one.
I never really thought of it specifically as it relates to job searching until this statistic slapped me in the face, but it does make sense. I’ve suffered from feeling like I wouldn’t be able to do a job, and reading a job description that wasn’t 100% something I’d done before just felt like too much of a stretch…if I’m being honest, sometimes it felt like too much of a stretch even when I’d done 100% of it before.
I hope that all of the incredibly talented women I’ve met and worked with in the last couple of decades know how truly amazing they all are. I’ve learned and grown from having worked with each one of you. I hope that none of you ever doubt your abilities or your brilliance. Whether it’s a new job or anything else you want in your life, go after it! There’s absolutely no one more qualified to live your best life than you!