Book Review: “The Confidence Code” by Katty Kay & Claire Shipman

Confidence – it’s a topic that is on everyone’s mind. Why is it that some people seem to exude confidence while others shrink under pressure? Is it inherent, or can it be learned and practiced? And how can we access this sometimes-illusive trait when we need it the most?

We’ve all caught ourselves in moments of self-doubt, asking these questions. And you may have even attempted to find the answers. That’s exactly what inspired authors Katty Kay and Claire Shipman to begin their journey of research and discovery that brought “The Confidence Code” to life.   

Their focus is mainly on confidence in women. Especially in the workplace, there is a distinct “gap” in confidence between men and women – and there is plenty of presented research to back up this claim. Men boast, speak up, and value themselves in the workplace more than women typically. Despite there being virtually no gap in competency, women consistently undervalue and doubt themselves. Katty and Claire wondered, “why?”

Throughout the book, the authors journey through the many levels of what makes up confidence. They present research and case studies on genetics, nurture, biology, and society. They interview some of the most confident women they can encounter and even examine themselves and their own experiences. All to get to the bottom of the “confidence gap” and ultimately develop a strategy for overcoming it.  

The book is a fantastic resource for an in-depth analysis of what makes and breaks confidence in all of us, how anyone can tap into confidence with some courage and practice, and how women specifically can learn to become authentically confident despite competing in a male-centric society. The Confidence Code is packed to the brim with recent research, case studies, and anecdotes about confidence that may surprise you. It has all the makings of an academic study while maintaining its humor and authenticity for an easy read. “The Confidence Code” is a great read for anyone – whether you consider yourself to be a confident person, or you’re looking to improve, this book has plenty to keep you interested from beginning to end.