'Just be confident' - easier said than done, right? But for women, it really is. The confidence gap between men and women is real and it's inhibiting women from succeeding at the same rate as men.
Succeeding in the business world isn't just about competence, otherwise we'd be living in a world where a lot more than 25% of all directors at FTSE 100 companies are women.
Numerous global studies, such as those conducted by Goldman Sachs and Columbia University, have found that companies employing women in large numbers outperform their competitors on every measure of profitability. In the US, women now earn more college and graduate degrees than men do. In the UK, almost 15% more women than men enroll in tertiary education. So, one could argue that women are even more prepared to succeed than men owing to their further education achievements.
And yet, studies show that men will apply for a job if they are 60% qualified, whereas a woman will only apply if she meets every single one of the criteria. This means less qualified men get hired in roles where they (probably) do a great job. But a woman might have been brilliant if she'd just given it a go.
Linda Babcock, a professor of economics at Carnegie Mellon University and the author of Women Don't Ask, found that in studies of business-school students, men initiate salary negotiations four times as often as women do. Moreover, when women do negotiate, they ask for 30% less money than men.
It's been claimed by the European Commission that women's lower willingness to negotiate salaries is a contributing factor to the global wage gap that women currently face.
So, why do we then live in a world where men have continued to get promoted faster and be paid more than women? Despite achieving just as must as men at higher education and, sometimes, more than men, why are women apparently unable to put themselves forward for career opportunities in the same way as a man?
What is the missing ingredient for women? Confidence.
It turns out that success correlates just as closely with confidence as it does with competence.
It's apparent that a lack of confidence is something all women feel, irrelevant of their achievements in life. Take Facebook's COO Sheryl Sandberg who, a year before her book, Lean In, was published, admitted that there are still days she wakes up feeling like a fraud, not sure she should be where she is in her career. Despite all that she's achieved, Sheryl still admits to doubting her own ability and success.
Confidence is much more than just feeling good about yourself. Confidence is a belief in one's ability to succeed and it's a belief that stimulates action.
Research from the beauty and lifestyle app, Missbeez, reveals that two thirds of women feel more confident and happier in themselves after spending time on their beauty routine.
Without doubt, women should be judged in the workplace on their ability alone. But, a woman's make up and daily beauty regime can help with that much needed self-confidence to go forth and succeed with the competence they so clearly already have.
Often called 'war paint', a woman's daily beauty regime is an integral part of building her confidence in the workplace. Research has revealed that the average British women spend up to £40,000 in a lifetime on her hair and £100,000 on cosmetics. It might be expensive war paint, but it's preparation that all women ought to invest in to strengthen their confidence.
Ultimately, in today's working world, a woman needs her war paint to ensure she starts each day feeling as confident as she can, setting her up to achieve the success she deserves.