Why Don’t Women Apply for Jobs Unless They Are 100% Qualified?

October is quickly approaching, thus for many students, the hunt for an internship or even full-time jobs goes into full force. I am personally graduating in May, so I am slowly starting to start the hunt for a full-time job myself.

Throughout my college career, I have been involved with a student organization called Women in Computing. Every year, the same piece of advice is given and based on the repetition of it, it made me curious if it really was an issue with women in the technology industry. The piece of advice I kept receiving was ‘apply even if you don’t meet all the qualifications’.

I did a quick Google search, and I was overloaded with articles on the topic. I clicked on a few from recognizable news sites and started informing myself on the topic.

the statistics

According to the article ‘Why Women Don’t Apply for Jobs Unless They’re 100% Qualified‘, typically men will apply for a job after only meeting 60% of the qualifications on the job description, while women are more hesitant and will only apply after meeting all 100% of the qualifications. Why is this though? The findings to this statistic match with the concept that woman needs more confidence and faith in themselves.

the survey to back it up

The following graphic is the results of a survey Tara Sophia Mohr completed after being skeptical about this particular topic. She surveyed over a thousand men and woman, and asked ‘If you decided not to apply for a job because you didn’t meet all the qualifications, why didn’t you apply?’.

advice for woman applying for an internship or job

don’t get hung up on the requirements

Don’t get to hung up on the required qualifications listed on the job description. From corporations I have spoken with, the majority of times they job descriptions include their wish list of what an applicant will have. They don’t actually expect you to fulfill 100% of the requirements. Take your chances, and apply for the job.

You Are ENough | Be Heard | DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY

In a previous blog post, 3 Things To Remember As A Female Computer Scientist, I gave three pieces of advice that all female computer scientist should remember. Even when applying for a job they are still applicable, and should not be forgotten.

Be confident when speaking with the corporation representative. You deserve to be there, and you hold a unique aspect with yourself in the technology industry. You are female. Don’t belittle yourself just because you think your male counterparts are smarter than you. Genetics doesn’t determine intelligence. The person does. Embrace the fact you are female. Although genetics doesn’t determine intelligence, typically woman thinking differently than men. Use that to your advantage. You can provide a different, most likely underrepresented, perspective in situations.


Apply for the job even if you aren’t qualified. What is the worse thing that could happen…you don’t get the job? You may be disappointed that you didn’t get the job, but at least you know you tried, and you can never have that ‘what if’ moment about what would have happened if you did apply.


Read more about the topic:

Why Women Don’t Apply for Jobs Unless They’re 100% Qualified

Are Women Too Timid When They Job Search?

Why Women Don’t Apply for Jobs Unless They’re 100% Qualified

2 thoughts on “Why Don’t Women Apply for Jobs Unless They Are 100% Qualified?

  1. Mary Moore says:

    In retrospect there were some jobs I applied for that were not a good fit, but I had put myself in a box based on my previous career experience (I was changing fields) and they were honestly not a great fit because I truly was overqualified. While I did have some disappointments, I am happy that I kept reaching out and applying for jobs that reflected what I really wanted to do. Every interview I had (including a couple that didn’t go well) was a learning experience for me. As it turned out, my dream job opened up and I applied and was hired. I’m glad I had the experience of looking around though. It helped me to clarify my goals and hone my interview skills. My advice is to stretch yourself.

    • breakingthestereotype says:

      Thank you so much for sharing Mary!
      I feel as if there are these two ‘zones’ women find themselves stuck in. The first one that this blog post was is where women don’t apply because they think they are underqualified, and then the other is when women apply and find themselves overqualified.

      You are completely right as well when you stated how in your personal experience it is difficult to walk away from the job, even if you know it is not the right fit. Every interview is a learning experience and can help you grow and learn for the next.

      Thanks again for sharing!

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