Professor Maja





1:15 pm


Professor Maja

Sociologist, Author, TEDx Speaker, Confidence Builder, Apology Hater



"How Allies & Gender Bias Influence Women's Confidence"





Are you frustrated that women’s confidence is often perceived as arrogance and lack of likability? Are you frequently interrupted during meetings? Do you deflect praise or minimize your accomplishments? Are you wondering how allies can be part of the solution, too? If so, then this is the talk for you!

Join Professor Maja in this energizing and information-jammed session to explore how our confidence is chipped away at through unconscious gender and racial biases and a lack of authentic allyship. Professor Maja discusses how people can be better allies to women both personally and professionally, through a variety of examples, including communication styles, meetings, office work challenges, performance evaluations and feedback, and home life.



Professor Maja Jovanovic is a sociologist, author and TEDx speaker. She is also a confidence builder and apology hater. She graduated with a Ph.D. in sociology in 2014 (focusing on the sociology of women’s health), with no clear career in mind, until she attended an academic conference that completely changed the trajectory of her research, her career and her life. At that conference, she witnessed women at the pinnacle of their careers deflecting praise (we call that feminine modesty) and over-apologizing for mundane issues. She immediately became obsessed with apologies. She wrote her first book, “Hey Ladies, Stop Apologizing… and Other Career Mistakes Women Make” in 2015, the second edition came out in 2017 along with an accompanying workbook. The audiobook, which came out in 2018, is a best-of compilation from the book, the workbook and Maja’s TV appearances.

Maja’s full-time job is on the public speaking circuit, where she gives talks and workshops to girls and women about all things related to confidence, communication and mindset. When she’s not giving talks, she’s either teaching sociology of health part-time at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario or conducting her own research. To help prepare all students for post-secondary education, Maja developed a free online program, The Student Success Guide, which includes three hours of videos (two to seven minutes each) about confidence, mindset and school life tips.

Maja is still obsessed with getting women off the apology train, and her current research study looks at the connection between confidence and women’s communication style. This is a global study involving women from around the world. Maja believes that confidence is a muscle that strengthens with use, so we need to push ourselves out of our comfort zones and act first in order to feel confident later.