Studies in Learning, Evaluation, Innovation and Development > Vol. 5, No. 1 (2008)

By the way… Self-confidence – the key to success?

Geraldine Neal, Griffith University
Teresa Moore, CQU
Lorna Moxham, CQU
Debbie Owens, RGGS
Kristy Richardson, CQU


In the past there has been an abundance of psychological theories suggesting women had an innate fear of success - that a lack of success was somehow inherent to their nature (Lips, 1997). These ideas have been totally discredited, but suspicion of woman’s ability to achieve still seems to linger in some quarters – not least among women themselves. Women in a variety of educational and career situations, continue to express a lack of confidence in their own abilities. Whether innate or constructed, the issues of women’s self-belief and self-confidence (and the closely related ability to easily move into or ‘fit’ an existing professional culture and to succeed within that culture) are visited in this paper in the area of women’s education, and the professional domains of nursing, law and academe.

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