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by Emily Wiegand | April 03, 2024


While the pay gap between men and women is often discussed, there is also an idea of a confidence gap between men and women in the workplace. In this Vault video, we discuss what the confidence gap is and how women can use more direct language to be more confident. 


The Confidence Gap refers to the idea that women are often less confident in the workplace than men and tend to underestimate their abilities. This includes not applying for jobs until meeting all the qualifications and being less likely to advocate for a promotion compared to men.

A place to start if you believe you have a lack of confidence in the workplace is to use more confident language. Even if you don’t feel confident on the inside, using more direct language will help raise your confidence all around.

1. Following Up

A common phrase used when following up to emails is this:

“I just wanted to check in and see if you had received my previous email.”

To come across more confident, you could instead write:

“I’m following up on my previous email. Did you receive it okay?”

Eliminating the filler word ‘just’ will help your statement be more impactful.

2. Sharing Your Ideas

Sharing your ideas can be nerve wracking, but you can camouflage this with language that will make you sound more confident–in your abilities and ideas.

Instead of starting out with something like this:

“I was thinking that maybe to boost engagement we could potentially post more stories.”

Try to eliminate clarifying words that dilute the significance of your statement, and say something like this instead:

“Posting stories is a tactic we should use to boost engagement.”

3. Setting Boundaries

Setting professional boundaries can feel uncomfortable, which is why filler words are sometimes used to soften the blow of the statement. In order for both the boundary and your presence to be firm, try eliminating this phrase:

“I don’t think I really want to go to the Happy Hour tonight. I’m not used to attending company events.”

And use this phrase instead:

“Thank you for the invite! I won’t be attending tonight, but I appreciate the invitation.”

Even if you’re in a situation where your confidence is lacking, using these phrases will create a confident presence, and make you feel more confident on the inside. For more career advice, check out!