Almost every week we see a new study relating to women and confidence, whether it’s a lack of confidence hindering women’s progress to the boardroom, the dreaded Imposter Syndrome, or the decimating effect social media can have on young women’s self-confidence and image. It may not be a new issue, but there has to be new ways of working on it, says Business Psychologist and founder of The Bitch Network, Paula Gardner.
Looking at the popularity of online communities with the support and feeling of camaraderie they offer, Paula decided to create an online club to help members work on their confidence and assertiveness using psychological research. “Considering there is so much knowledge around this subject, it’s a crying shame that more of us don’t have access to what we are finding out about what enhances and what undermines our confidence. In contrast, a lot of the stuff out there is focused on labelling people, giving them 10 ways to spot they suffer from Imposter Syndrome, but it lacks sounds suggestions for what to do about it.”
Members have the choice of being a Pushy Bitch (monthly group membership), or a Queen Bitch which includes one to one coaching from Paula or one of her team, who are The Complete and Utter Bitches. Paula has handpicked a fellow business psychologist, an ex-learning and development manager and a respected health coach to help guide her Pushy Bitches through their confidence journey, offering members group and one to one coaching, tutorials, a book club and monthly confidence challenges. Members are encouraged to experiment with confidence raising techniques, to look at areas in their life where they may or may not be confident, and to have fun as they grow.
“The Bitch Network is named after the inner steely you or what I like to call the inner bitch that so many of us only let out when we are threated or have our backs against the wall. How much stronger we could be if we could access her when we need her, drawing strength from her and not worrying about what other people think or being drawn into people pleasing.”
Paula Gardner spent over 25 years in PR and marketing and has had two books on raising your profile published. The years ago she returned to University to do her Masters in Business Psychology and has now pivoted from PR and marketing coach to Business psychologist. “Deciding to make the change was a huge leap in confidence for me. I hadn’t done any formal study for over 20 years and my own inner bitch was vital in helping me get through, gain a distinction and change career.
Note to Editors
Paula Gardner is available for interview, comments and content.