Confidence culture: changing women, not the world

As a first-generation Sierra-Leonean American Black woman, I’ve had to accept that many spaces were not created with my success in mind. It doesn’t matter how confident I am in my skill set and offering, the reality is that there are a number of systemic, institutional barriers in place that affect the rise of so many women of colour like myself and other marginalised groups. Just take a look at the lack of diversity in leadership positions across sectors ranging from finance to the arts and it’s clear to see there’s a problem — and a lack of confidence is not the main culprit.

The best-selling book, Confidence Culture by sociologists Professor Shani Orgad (LSE) and Professor Rosalind Gill (City, University of London) explores exactly that. In the book, they argue that imperatives directed at women to “love your body” and “believe in yourself” imply that psychological blocks rather than entrenched social injustices hold women back.

As someone who has always been passionate about challenging the status quo to create the change so desperately needed when it comes to equity, diversity, and inclusion, I’m excited to moderate the timely presentation and discussion on confidence culture on International Women’s Day!

The event

Confidence culture: changing women, not the world will be hosted in London at Bayes Business School and online on Wednesday 8th March at 18.30. Sociologists Professor Shani Orgad and Professor Rosalind Gill will discuss their best-selling book Confidence Culture with me, a book that has been discussed in the New York Times, Financial Times, Washington Post, El Pais, and Die Zeit among many other media. In the talk, Shani and Rosalind will present their critique of the confidence cult, and argue for a feminism that goes beyond its individualising and neo-liberal terms.

We’ll be asking about what we as individuals can do to alter some of the systemic and institutional problems that exist and how confidence culture will evolve in the future.

Please register here and join us on Wednesday March 8th, from 6:30-7:45pm (GMT) at Bunhill Row or via live stream. We encourage in-person attendance as it’ll be a wonderful opportunity to network and interact with the panellists, Bayes faculty and fellow alumni. 

Bayes Global Women's Leadership Programme

Lastly, I’d like to give a major shout out to the Bayes Global Women’s Leadership Programme and the work being done to inspire women and prepare them for continued leadership. Being awarded the programme’s scholarship for my Full-time MBA not only alleviated the financial burden of a postgraduate degree, but it also provided me with a powerful community of forward-thinking women and support from the very beginning of my programme. It’s an honour to serve on the board and support the work being done.

Hope to see you on International Women’s Day either in person or online for a powerful discussion!