Some days ago, I heard a concept I didn´t know “self-efficacy”, I did some research and I found a very interesting article on a website verywellmind, where I read that The concept of self-efficacy is central to psychologist Albert Bandura’s social cognitive theory, which emphasizes the role of observational learning, social experience, and reciprocal determinism in developing a personality.
Self-efficacy is "the belief in one’s capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to manage prospective situations." In other words, self-efficacy is a person’s belief in his or her ability to succeed in a particular situation. Bandura described these beliefs as determinants of how people think, behave, and feel (1)
I remembered that I have heard the term before, Catalina Cajías has talked to me about it so I decided to interview her in order to know her perspective of Self-efficacy as a factor of gender.
Catalina Cajías is CEO & founder of Atributos, a company focused on talent potential and management in Ecuador, Business Partner at INCAE Business School in Ecuador, President of ALL Ladies League, Ecuador, Director of Women Economic Forum Ecuador 2021, Member of Latin American Women Leaders in INCAE, Member of Global Plan Red Ecuador.
Catalina, as the CEO & founder of Atributos, what are the obstacles do companies in Latin America face for developing better leadership, inclusion, and gender equality? And what changes would they need to implement?
First of all, the social factor, those traditionally rooted organizational structures, masculinized enterprises, and corporations, that is a misrepresentation of women in public institutions.
It is important to understand that gender equality and inclusion not only benefits women but also the society and the economy of countries. According to McKinsey & Company, confirming the statistical importance of diversity for better financial performance, the region's GDP could rise by 14%.
It is necessary to generate changes in the management of the system, to promote the application of equity measures, strategically articulated with actions that allow the increase of women's participation in the middle and upper levels of decision-making, the elimination of salary gaps, the reconciliation of family, work, and social life with co-responsibility.
Based on your experience as a business consultant and in your affirmation: Perspective of Self-efficacy as a factor of gender! do you mean women have a lower self-efficacy compared to men?
Indeed, a survey carried out with a sample of 420 women entrepreneurs throughout Spain generated results where it was attributed that a greater weakness in the competencies is directly related to Self-Efficacy. It is clear that there is an intertwined correlation between psychological, social, and economic aspects; illiteracy at a global level accounts for the situation of inequality experienced by women.
The perception of scope is improved by education and this grows with the level of studies, strengthening self-efficacy, which allows for an improvement in their current state in political participation, their arrival to managerial positions and economic independence.
The figures confirm this, women work more hours than men; when unpaid work is counted, the participation of the labor force based on the economically active population is represented by 75% of men and 50% of women. Of the 500 largest companies in the world, we find that only 4% of CEOs are women. In Latin America, there is a 30% gap in women's education in business studies and senior management.
Do you think all female leaders have as a characteristic of self-efficacy?
Yes, of course! I have met in virtuous circles great leaders in their different spaces of expertise, and their main attributes are: resilience and self-efficacy, they are creating new stories, their inspiration and the creation of social fabrics for sustainable human development. It is decisive when women can see in their immediate environment successful business and entrepreneurial references, increase their belief in their capacities, exercise and launch a message to their peers of ability to perceive possibility, increasing self-efficacy and expanding their impact, so my purpose in supporting, promoting and encouraging participation in international forums.
What tips can you give to women who want to improve their Self-efficacy at work?
- To nurture that strong belief in one's capabilities, skills, and influence to cope with various situations, thus successfully achieving objectives and goals.
- Nowadays it is essential to manage your talent, to develop you from your essence to collaborative, productive leaderships that make a difference, and leave sustainable marks.
“With every sunrise, you have a second chance to do what you want to, to be who you want to be, the only thing that stops you is YOU! “
(1) Kendra C. (May 17, 2020). Self Efficacy and Why Believing in Yourself Matters. Retrieved from: https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-self-efficacy-2795954