Globally, women are continuously shattering glass ceilings and making inroads into higher positions, however, their response to rejection might be holding them back.

Research  published in the Administrative Science Quarterly says women are less likely than their counterparts to apply for a job if they have been rejected before. The study titled How Negative Recruitment Experiences Shape Women’s Decisions to Compete for Executive Roles says there are a number of reasons why women will not apply for positions, one of them being the lack of female representation at the top. The second is a fear of rejection. The researchers further argue that women are less willing than men to consider a job opportunity from a firm that has rejected them in the past.

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“Women who are rejected for an executive role may suspect that they were rejected on the basis of their gender (as may or may not have been the case). This suspicion, based on women’s direct and vicarious labour market experiences with unequal treatment on the basis of their gender, triggers uncertainty about the extent to which they belong in executive realms,” it explains.

Business and Career coach, Carol Webber from Maestro Performance, says the reason people sometimes allow rejection to hinder them is because they over identify with one thing.

” Sometimes what we do as people is we over identify, we say that we are that job or that we are that experience, we are that failure but we need to realise that we are much more than one event,” she explains.

Instead of seeing rejection as a failure or something that will hold you back, Webber suggests using it as an opportunity to learn.

“Fail really just stands for First Attempt In Learning. So if you can see it like that, then you can say ‘What have I learnt from this experience. That  will leverage my strength more, or help me address some development areas,” she says.

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Instead of allowing rejection to cause you to fold, building resilience will make you stronger and allow you  to move forward in spite of your feelings. The best thing to do is to focus on gratitude on where you are suggests Webber.

“You may not achieved that job or that promotion, or you many not have been united to give a presentation where you thought you are the best person to do it. But if you keep on focusing on what you don’t have or what you doing to achieve, you may spiral into quite a deep hole where you almost  feel like you are stuck,” she explains.

Instead of seeing rejection as something bad, Webber adds that you can see it as a gift that will make you stronger and enable you to deal with other issues in the future.