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

Katty Kay , Claire Shipman
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 18.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

8 May 2014

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. 

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness (8 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006223062X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062230621
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 16 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


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.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A useful book 24 May 2014
The book's style is accessible and not tiring to read like some self-help publications - particularly the rather relentless American upbeatisms prevalent in some US import self-help books.

I liked the fact they ask if confidence is hardwired into a lucky few? Their conclusion: no it isn't. The reading lists/sources at end were useful too for further investigation. Not sure how useful though the chapter titled "Fat Dumb Bitches" is about women's confidence being more prone to vulnerability. The only times I've overheard myself being charmingly referred to as 'a bitch', the perpetrator has been a fellow sister every time!

Not a bad place to start if wanting help with self-esteem issues.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb 16 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Easy to read, well grounded in cutting edge research as well as anecdotal human experience. It was a very enjoyable read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A worthwhile read for women and men 15 July 2014
This book is one I wish I had a copy to give to everyone I know--male and female. I don't necessarily agree with 100% of what the authors write but probably close to it, and I was certainly nodding my head and scribbling notes with every page.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book 12 July 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Amazing book:)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  112 reviews
42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zen and the art of confidence 15 April 2014
By Cynthia Mckee - Published on
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!
35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reminds me of Kanter's book, Confidence 17 April 2014
By Quinn - Published on
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.
34 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly riveting-- 15 April 2014
By Sarah B. - Published on
Ok, I'll admit to being the kind of person who generally balks at the words, "code," or "should," (in particular what women should know), but Kay and Shipman's book is so sneaky, so smart, and so interesting, I found myself after half an hour--still standing, riveted--in the exact same spot at the front of my local bookstore where I had pulled it down and started to read. Disarmingly wry, the two steer straight into the questions: what is confidence?; why do we need it?; why don't women seem to have it in the same measure as men?; and then, how do we make it? Completely undaunted by the breadth of the investigation--in fact it seems the two are almost exhilerated by the fact that each question opens up yet more questions--Kay and Shipman have written a book that unwittingly both shows the code, and shows how the code can be broken, and then too--rewritten. The end result is both provocative, surprising, and sustaining--the best kind of read.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Confidence Code 22 May 2014
By GrannyJo - Published on
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
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST read 15 April 2014
By Caroline L. - Published on
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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