Does confidence really advance women’s careers? A conversation with Leonora Risse

Does confidence really advance women’s carers? 

About 50 years ago the landmark equal pay case in Australia introduced principles for equal pay for men and women. Despite our efforts, women still earn substantially less than men. Recent statistics published by Workplace Gender Equality Agency indicate that the average full-time base salary gender pay gap was 16.2% in 2017-18 (source:

This is the first of two ESA podcasts that explore current research into the drivers of the gender wage gap, and the benefits of reducing the gap.

In this podcast, Dr Leonora Risse discusses her research into a common piece of advice for women – to be more confident in the workplace. Dr Risse explains how she estimated the relationship between confidence and pay and promotions, separately for men and women, using the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey data. We discuss her unexpected findings, as well as the implications of her research for Australians and organisations working towards reducing the gender pay gap.

Further reading on Leonora's research can be found here ( and here(

If you enjoyed this podcast, you may also be interested in the upcoming Australian Gender Economics Workshop, hosted by the Women in Economics Network (WEN) and RMIT University, on 13-15 February 2019. The aim of AGEW is to foster a community of economic researchers who can collectively contribute to the high quality evidence base needed to guide the pursuit of more gender equitable outcomes in society. This year the AGEW welcomes two two highly distinguished international speakers Professor Iris Bohnet (Harvard University; VicHealth Leading Thinker) and Professor Shelly Lundberg (University of California, Santa Barbara). To find out more visit:

Benedict Davies and Simone Wong
Economic Society of Australia (Vic) podcasters

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the podcast hosts only and do not reflect the views of their employers nor do they represent the views of the Economic Society of Australia.

Image: Photo by @brookelark on unplash 

Music: "Hard Boiled" by Kevin MacLeod (, Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0,

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