According to the research, men overstate their own ability which in turn leads to their selection as group leaders while women underplay their success.
Researchers led by the Northwestern University found that women's tendency to downplay their successes could be holding them back at work, BusinessNewsDaily reported.
The study divided MBA students into groups and examined how leaders were chosen from those groups. The leaders were to be chosen based on experience from a prior experiment.
"Barring any explicit discrimination against women – which would be unlikely in an experiment with university students - groups should aim to select their most talented individual irrespective of gender," Paola Sapienza, a professor of finance at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, said.
The results revealed that men were more willing to overstate their own ability, which, in turn, led to their selection as group leaders.
Women were selected less frequently than they should have been based on how they performed in the prior experiment.
The researchers suggested that if companies take into account that workers will brag, it can ensure that only the most qualified workers get the job, and not just the most boastful.