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The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance---What Women Should Know [Kindle Edition]

Katty Kay , Claire Shipman
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (193 customer reviews)

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Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
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Book Description

Following the success of Lean In and Why Women Should Rule the World, the authors of the bestselling Womenomics provide an informative and practical guide to understanding the importance of confidence—and learning how to achieve it—for women of all ages and at all stages of their career.

Working women today are better educated and more well qualified than ever before. Yet men still predominate in the corporate world. In The Confidence Code, Claire Shipman and Katty Kay argue that the key reason is confidence.

Combining cutting-edge research in genetics, gender, behavior, and cognition—with examples from their own lives and those of other successful women in politics, media, and business—Kay and Shipman go beyond admonishing women to "lean in."Instead, they offer the inspiration and practical advice women need to close the gap and achieve the careers they want and deserve. 

Editorial Reviews


The Confidence Code belongs in the bagof every woman in America. It combines groundbreaking scientific research and firsthand accounts from the world’s most powerful woman.” (Joanna Coles, Editor-in-Chief, Cosmopolitan)

“How do we make the most of our talents, skills, and interests? This book demonstrates that it’s not enough to know what we’re doing; our confidence is a key factor in our success. Fascinating reading for every woman who wants to take her life to the next level.” (Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project)

“All too often, even the most successful women have indicated that their confidence is fleeting or domain-specific. The gifted authors who were behind Womenomics prove that can change. Discover how you can specifically develop that enduring sense of self-assurance in this remarkable book.” (Marshall Goldsmith, author of the international bestseller What Got You Here Won't Get You There)

“Kay and Shipman shine a perceptive light on the crucial role that confidence plays in the ability of women to succeed. They offer women practical advice and the vision of a more hopeful future.” (Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, and author of Lean In)

“Kay and Shipman provide a great blueprint for raising daughters….All of this research, as well as the authors’ own recounting of experiences with doubt in their professional lives, effectively builds into a comprehensive set of ingredients for the confident woman.” (Publishers Weekly)

“An insightful look at how internalizing cultural stereotypes can hold women back from competing with men.” (Kirkus)

“[Kay and Shipman] have written an enlightening, fascinating book that explains the relationship between confidence, resilience, risk and reward….This book can definitely help you learn to boost your confidence.” (Success)

“[Kay and Shipman dive] into tons of fascinating research and stats that are worth reading…[b]ut most importantly, the book provides some seriously actionable advice from some of the most successful women in the world (authors included).” (

From the Back Cover

Confidence. We want it. We need it. But it can be maddeningly enigmatic and out of reach. The authors of the New York Times bestseller Womenomics deconstruct this essential, elusive, and misunderstood quality and offer a blueprint for bringing more of it into our lives.

Is confidence hardwired into the DNA of a lucky few—or can anyone learn it? Is it best expressed by bravado, or is there another way to show confidence? Which is more important: confidence or competence? Why do so many women, even the most successful, struggle with feelings of self-doubt? Is there a secret to channeling our inner confidence?

In The Confidence Code, journalists Katty Kay and Claire Shipman travel to the frontiers of neuroscience on a hunt for the confidence gene and reveal surprising new research on its roots in our brains. They visit the world's leading psychologists who explain how we can all chose to become more confident simply by taking action and courting risk, and how those actions change our physical wiring. They interview women leaders from the worlds of politics, sports, the military, and the arts to learn how they have tapped into this elemental resource. They examine how a lack of confidence impacts our leadership, success, and fulfillment.

Ultimately, they argue, while confidence is partly influenced by genetics, it is not a fixed psychological state. That's the good news. You won't discover it by thinking positive thoughts or by telling yourself (or your children) that you are perfect as you are. You also won't find it by simply squaring your shoulders and faking it. But it does require a choice: less people pleasing and perfectionism and more action, risk taking, and fast failure.

Inspiring, insightful, and persuasive, The Confidence Code shows that by acting on our best instincts and by daring to be authentic, women can feel the transformative power of a life on confidence.

Product Details

  • File Size: 611 KB
  • Print Length: 261 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness; 1 edition (April 15, 2014)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DB368AY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,495 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
54 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Confidence Code May 22, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I would like to see everyone who teaches even one girl, young woman, adult female, etc. read this book. We need, desperately, to change the way women think of themselves. It took nearly 80 years for me to gain the self-confidence that my brothers seem to have inherited along with other genes. We must do better. There is a great deal of evidence to support my contention that our mental capacity is as good as or greater than our male counterparts. Let's do whatever is necessary to keep our females acting this truth. This book is a great beginning! Jo Seier-Doofe
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55 of 59 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's not a total waste, but not very helpful June 28, 2014
By Bpollen
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm suspicious of some of the five star reviews of this book. If you check out their total reviews, for many this is their only review, and for others, they have just 2 or 3 reviews, all 5 star. And they gush a bit too much about this book. I'm having difficulty getting through this book because it's boring. It's mainly stories about wealthy, highly educated women, or celebrities, who expressed at some point that they felt lucky or unworthy, etc. There are other things in the book, and it is enlightening in some respects. But it's not geared toward helpful advice for the average woman. I agree with the several other reviews for this book that say much the same thing as I am saying. It's not a total waste of money, and if the stats apply to you, you may find it more applicable to yourself.

I did find one thing in the book that I am using, which is that women apologize all the time, whether it's justified or not. I've noticed that I do the same, so am trying to alter this. The response has not been great. The problem is, and perhaps the reason why, women appear to lack confidence and apologize, is because the response when they don't do that is not good. The goal is to get certain things, whether it's a job or a raise or congeniality in the office. I believe that women have learned how to win the end game through experience, and that experience has shown that the best way to do this is to APPEAR more subserviant and pleasant than you are. I saw a documentary once about how girl toddlers & boy toddlers are treated differently, and wondered why girls cry more than boys. You could see in the test that when girl toddlers cried in a child pen area, they got picked up more often than the boys did when they cried.
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61 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zen and the art of confidence April 14, 2014
Format:Audio CD
My curiosity was piqued immediately. Do I focus on competence over confidence? And what really is confidence anyway. In "The Confidence Code," written with great insight, openness and a thoughtful and measured approach, the authors demystify the value of confidence in the marketplace and in everyday life and why it is some of us have it and some us don't. Mixing the right levels of science, intrigue, example, humor and humility--they even go as far as personal genetic testing to see how they fare on the confidence scale--the reader has all the available wisdom to "crack" the confidence code and better understand its impact on just about everything we do. Personally, I found myself listening to conversations in a different way--did a woman at my table just say "he was acting just like a woman and apologizing for everything all the time" --and thinking about my own effectiveness at work and with people in general. It was surprising. This is definately a book that will be greatly talked about, learned from and enjoyed. I highly recommend it!
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46 of 54 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reminds me of Kanter's book, Confidence April 17, 2014
By Quinn
The fundamentals of the newer book were captured nearly a decade ago by Rosabeth Moss Kanter's book, Confidence. Compared to The Confidence Code, Kanter's book is more academic but (my opinion here) more interesting and extremely well-researched. Kanter's approach includes both genders, and she uses a lot of sports and corporate examples.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Applicable for men as well.... May 3, 2014
By Robert
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Although this book is written for women, I found it highly valuable for me - a middle aged man who has always struggled with confidence. I think the examples and suggestions apply to anyone who needs a confidence boost.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST read April 15, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
What a fantastic read!!! Fantastic because thoroughly enjoyable and fascinating, but also incredibly helpful. Right from the introduction, I was completely hooked. This felt like a book written for ME! How refreshing to realize I was not the only one struggling with moments of self doubt, or feeling terrified of speaking in meetings. The authors take us on a journey of discovery than reads like a detective story: what exactly IS confidence, and why does it seem more difficult to attain for women, even incredibly successful ones (including the authors themselves)? The voyage through genetics, biology and social norms was an eye opener, and women's personal stories make it all so easy to relate to. But the book does not leave us there. The authors shine a light on the challenges, but also give us a roadmap to overcome them. I could not put this book down until I reached the last page. I now know that I no longer need a brain transplant or a sex change to feel confident, and I am armed with a new sense of what is possible.

This is a must read for all women. It is also a must read for men who live or work with women, and for anyone raising daughters.

Thank you thank you thank you Katty Kay and Claire Shipman!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars worth buying for sure
Great insight into a subject that needed to be addressed. Easy reading. Useful info. Kept checking it out from the library and finally just had to buy it.
Published 8 days ago by Joyce T Swearingen
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother
Very disappointing - there's nothing here that we didn't already know. And it's not that well written or entertaining.
Published 8 days ago by Tambyrd
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very good. Had a lot of science to back up the theories. Good to know information.
Published 8 days ago by msamorales
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good book.
Published 8 days ago by Cheryl Barron
2.0 out of 5 stars Biased towards women's confidence issues
Good book. However, it is very heavy with women's confidence issues. I would have preferred a little bit less biased content because the issues are applicable to both men and... Read more
Published 8 days ago by Rashika Fernando
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I recommend every woman read this book!
Published 16 days ago by Maria Ortiz
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for women!
I was looking for this book by some time. Marshall Goldsmith mentioned about a book, women in Leadership, I think this is the book he was referring too. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Simona
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, it gave me insight into the workings ...
Good book, it gave me insight into the workings of the female brain and how it is different wired. An enjoyable read with lots of anecdotes and outside contribution
Published 24 days ago by M Sheehan
5.0 out of 5 stars Teachers of people and children. If you are a girl or happen to know...
I loved this book.

If you know someone who is female, are a female or are around kids at all... great and important book!

If you teach kids... Read more
Published 27 days ago by Judy B
3.0 out of 5 stars No thanks
This audiobook was ok, but I kept expecting to learn more info than was presented. I would not recommend this.
Published 29 days ago by SeaGlass64
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