“Confidence Crisis for Girls & Women” Conference at UVU

Dr. Susan R. Madsen talks about women’s confidence and the necessity for gaining more of it.

Sasha Rudenko | Staff Writer | @rudenko_sasha

The event “Confidence Crisis for Girls & Women” took place on September 23, at the Ragan Theater at Utah Valley University. Paige Holland, the First Lady of UVU, welcomed everyone to the first installment of this four-part series and introduced the topic’s significance

Saying that the image of a confident woman is often misinterpreted, because of the idea that all confident women should “look alike and sound alike,” she said that it is time to understand what being a confident woman means.

Discussing the answer to this in more detail, Dr. Susan R. Madsen, professor of leadership and ethics, spoke on the differences between men and women when it comes to confidence.

Dr. Madsen spoke on her interest in the topic and the seriousness of the problem of women not feeling confident. She said that she is willing to do something about the problem.

“I don’t like just whining about things,” Dr. Madsen said. “[It’s time] to figure out how we give women more confidence.”

The research results show that women struggle with having enough confidence more than men do. She noticed that women feel significantly less confident when they talk about their skills and are more likely to be perfectionists and to overthink things.

Additionally, women are 75% less likely to speak up when there are men in the room. To demonstrate, she asked four women to come out and show the poses that confident men use while walking or speaking.

Dr. Madsen emphasized the fact that confidence is not passive.

“Confidence is not simply feeling good about yourself,” Dr. Madsen said. She explained that confidence leads to action and there is a way to gain confidence when one doesn’t naturally have it.

There are genetic conditions that cannot be changed, said Madsen, but those are only 25 – 50%, which means that there is a lot that can be changed about the confidence through the power of will. Even our brains can be influenced and changed by the new habits that will bring more confidence.

Concluding the session, the audience was reminded of the purpose of the event, which is to help women of Utah to feel more confident and speak up for themselves and for “those who cannot speak.”

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