Most of us feel shy speaking up in a boardroom or negotiating a higher salary.

If being deferential seems second nature to you, broadcast journalists Katty Kay and Claire Shipman would argue that’s because it is. Genetically and psychologically, women are wired to be less confident than men.

But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing we can do about it.

In their new book, The Confidence Code, the best-selling authors of Womenomics delve into the science behind the trait, figuring out how much is inherited (roughly 25 to 50 percent) and how much can be learned.

The authors also spend time with accomplished women who have overcome this stumbling block, and it’s surprising to discover that even world leaders struggle with self-doubt. (German chancellor Angela Merkel and IMF head Christine Lagarde apparently meet regularly to boost each other up.)

The good news? A lot can be achieved with a little healthy fakery--Shipman and Kay eventually found that the best way to build confidence is to acknowledge your own doubts and then do your best to ignore them. Just take risks, put yourself out there and sometimes sacrifice perfection in the name of seizing opportunity.

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