Much has been written and discussed about the huge confidence gap between men and women. It’s determined to be lack of confidence which keeps women from speaking up and vying for a place in the boardroom – and other areas of advancement.

Why, when we’ve come so far in the past decades, do women experience a confidence gap that keeps them from achieving ultimate success? Many suggest that women lose confidence when they choose to interrupt their careers with motherhood or taking care of others at their own expense.

Others say that lack of confidence isn’t the problem – but the lack of women in highly skilled and competitive professions is an unleveled playing field and certain areas of discrimination against the female sex. While both theories may have some merit, the fact remains that men are singularly more confident than women.

The facts about women and confidence are that women are well-qualified for jobs and careers that they don’t try for because they see themselves as inferior in almost every way. Even those with a dynamite education sometimes don’t see themselves as qualified as men to get and do the job.

Also, women offer managerial skills which are top notch and are considered “soft skills.” Soft skills that most women have are the abilities to listen, mentor and bring a sense of awareness into any endeavor. Women add talents to their resumes which are highly valuable to any company or any career imaginable.

Studies on the gap of confidence between men and women indicate that when women first leave college, they aspire to the same heights as men in their careers, but their confidence in advancing wavers dramatically as time goes on.

Male senior leaders’ confidence in their abilities to advance is 55% compared to senior women who come in at a dismal 29%. Also significant in these studies is that there is virtually no difference in how married/unmarried and mothers/childless women responded to questions about their intentions and aspirations to succeed.

This lack of confidence is holding women back from top positions, demanding pay raises to equal men and for promotions. One reason for the gap is that women may decline to takes the risks which men take and how willing they are to try new and difficult tasks.

Hopefully, this confidence gap keeping women back will begin to turn around over the next years as more companies put money into development programs for boosting women’s confidence and realize that investing in the future of women makes good and profitable sense.