When asked what I do for a living, my husband can talk about my role and my abilities with so much more confidence that people actually listen to him more than they pay attention to my doubt-filled mumblings. I have often marvelled at his super-confidence and I am still trying to find how he got it! Even when my employer created a separate women’s class for us to teach – to answer questions or engage in a discussion, there were fewer girls who raised their hands than did the number of boys (who are equally qualified as the girls) in a boys’ classroom.
Both genetics and nurture (environment which includes cultural biases) play an important role in this confidence-gap. That’s also a major reason why there are fewer women at the top. Here’s the how and why behind this major confidence issue: http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/04/the-confidence-gap/359815/
It is lengthy but an excellent read – especially if you have ever faced confidence issues.