When I first arrived in the Bay Area, I picked up Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. It’s probably the most cliche thing I could’ve done. It’s not like it wasn’t available in Memphis, but I knew that coming here, I had something to learn. (I still do, always.) I wanted to read about what a woman on the inside of a tech company would be able to offer as advice, suspecting that I’d probably end up at one due to their sheer saturation.
Since reading that book, one statistic — quoted not only by Sandberg but others talking about the “confidence gap” in women — stays in the back of my mind. The statistic comes from a Hewlett-Packard internal report, summarized succinctly in the Harvard Business Review by Tara Sophia Mohr in 2014: “Men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them.”