Men Exaggerate Their Performance At Work While Women Underplay Theirs

A new study from researchers from Harvard Business School and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania sought to determine whether men or women were more likely to assess their own work positively. Despite the fact that men and women performed just as well as each other on the test, women on average reported their performance as being 15 points lower on the 100-point scale than the average man. “When communicating to potential employers, women systematically provide less favorable assessments of their own past performance and potential future ability than equally performing men,” the researchers wrote in the working paper distributed by the National Bureau of Economic Research. As they note, people are often asked to rate their skills when applying to schools, interviewing for jobs or during performance reviews. As a result, they argue that many women’s disinclination to assess themselves more favorably could play into other gender gaps, such as those around education and salary.


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