The new survey released by Pond’s explores the internal barriers/inner hesitations that are experienced even by the most confident women in India. The research further highlights the downsides of these hesitations. There are numerous faces and names to these self- limiting hesitations, from inner voices to negative self-dialogue that women face as barriers and these beliefs are not born overnight but are a by-product of years of social conditioning, societal confirming norms and others. Due to these factors, women tend to hold back from acting on their thoughts – professionally or personally, thereby curtailing their growth.
Through this research, Pond’s aims to bring the inhibiting factors at the fore and initiate a conversation around them, to encourage women to not hold back.
Why women hold themselves back?
- 9 in 10 Indian women are holding themselves back from doing or saying something they want (92 per cent). Almost half of women surveyed hold themselves back every day.
- When it comes to the reasons women say they hold themselves back, the top three reasons given include: fear of being judged (59 per cent) or not sure how others will react (58 per cent). 52 per cent also worry that they say will negatively impact how others see them and hence stop themselves from saying or doing what they want.
- Work is the area wherein over 8 in 10 of all women say they themselves back, with almost half (47 per cent) of these citing they have hesitated when asking a question in a large group or setting, while, 4 in 10 (40 per cent) stop while saying no to boss.
- On the personal front, 4 in 10 (40 per cent) women stop themselves from moving out and living with their boyfriend because they are not sure how others will react.
- In these moments of hesitations, women say it’s their confidence in their own ability (60 per cent) that suffers while 6 in 10 feel frustrated when holding back (56 per cent).
Why people are stopping themselves?
- However, the research further highlights that putting her near ones before her fears come easy to Indian women. As a result, situations, where these hesitations are faced the least, are ‘going to work after a baby’ and ‘prioritising their needs over their boyfriend/spouse’ – only 2 in 10 (22 per cent) women stop themselves in such situations.
- Biggest reasons why women stop themselves are fearful of being judged (59 per cent) and unsure how others will react (58 per cent). Almost 6 in 10 who stop themselves, do it for these reasons. Furthermore, almost 5 in 10 (52 per cent) also worry that they say will negatively impact how others see them and hence stop themselves from saying or doing what they want.
- When looking at the other internal factors that hold back women from doing and saying what they want, we see that contributions of these factors to inner voices are not so much. These factors include, afraid of being told (12 per cent), their ability to adjust or manage stressful situations (21 per cent) and self-doubt, that makes them question if what they say is useful (19 per cent), among others. However, these are not big enough reasons, only less than 2 in 10 will stop themselves, do so for these reasons.
- Furthermore, holding themselves back also influences their personality traits. Among women who stop themselves 6 in 10 feels less confident (60 per cent), 5 in 10 feel frustrated (56 per cent) and annoyed (50 per cent).
Women who act instead of stopping themselves
- According to the survey, it’s not all gloom and doom because there are situations when they act.
- 4 in 10 (40 per cent) women are able to act instead of stopping while asking a question in a large public setting.
- Likewise, 4 in 10 (37 per cent) raise their hand in a meeting or working in a male-dominated field (36 per cent)
Feelings when they act
More than 6 in 10 (64 per cent) satisfied, and about 6 in 10 (59 per cent) feel happier when they are able to act instead of stopping themselves.
A survey commissioned by Pond’s across four key Asian markets has been conducted by independent research company, Ipsos, via a self-administered online survey. The survey was conducted from [INDIA DATES:16th to 26th April 2019] amongst as sample of [INDIA FIGURES:1,000] women aged 18 – 35 years old women across city and metro areas in India (Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Pune, Vizag, and Madurai).