A KPMG study of 750 professional women reported 75% personally experienced Imposter Syndrome in their career.
In my work, where I’m often supporting highly-accomplished women in male-dominated industries, I hear stories every day that are rooted in Imposter Syndrome.
It might be the woman too scared to speak up in meetings, as she’s lacking confidence; it might the manager comparing herself to others and feeling an unrelenting need to prove herself; it could be the working mum constantly working out of hours, because she’s too worried to say no to work, for fear others might think she can’t juggle it all.
I’ve been there: throughout my own career, I’ve been plagued by Imposter Syndrome, measuring myself (and others) against an incredibly high yardstick.
Imposter Syndrome is getting worse
I am seeing that Imposter Syndrome is becoming worse and this is exacerbated for women because of a myriad of factors:
- Social media is triggering for many of us, as we compare ourselves to others and feel inferior in our own lifestyles or achievements.
- We are still working in patriarchal systems and structures and the pandemic has seen the progress of gender parity slow with less women achieving leadership positions.
- Women struggle as we don’t have role models: women in senior roles remain the minority (especially women with young children, who require lots of care).
Yet, according to Clance & Imes’ ground-breaking 1978 study (The Imposter Phenomenon in High Achieving Women), it is possible to overcome Imposter Syndrome:
“As a result of a combination of such therapeutic interventions in conjunction with a commitment to change, a high achieving woman who has previously considered herself an impostor begins to allow herself to state and feel, “I am intelligent. I have learned and achieved a tremendous amount. It is alright for me to believe in my own intellectual abilities and strengths.” She begins to be free of the burden of believing she is a phoney and can more fully participate in the joys, zest, and power of her accomplishments.”
I’ve seen firsthand the immeasurable benefits that working to banish Imposter Syndrome can have. But this is a process that takes small, gradual steps – not dramatic changes; be aware you might fail at stages and need to start again.
The results are worth it: you’ll regain confidence, which can accelerate your career; you’ll get back personal time, as you let go of your perfectionist tendencies; you’ll stop agonising over feedback and realise you can ask for help; you’ll stop living with daily anxiety that makes you feel like a fraud. It’s time to banish your imposter for good!
Good Enough: Imposter Syndrome Keynote Speech
I am launching a new keynote speech available to businesses: Imposter Syndrome in the Workplace: Why it’s holding women back and practical tools to finally feel good enough.
This 60-minute keynote speech will include Q&A time and can be delivered in-person in the UK or Europe and/or online via Zoom with a recording of the session provided.
- According to a KPMG study, 75% of women experience Imposter Syndrome, which results in them not feeling “good enough”, and holding themselves back from taking promotions for example.
- There are many external and internal barriers holding women back – discussion around these barriers and what individuals and organisations can do to overcome or reduce these barriers.
- Common reasons for Imposter Syndrome (where it starts) including citation of the seminal 1978 study into Imposter Syndrome.
- My own story of not being ‘good enough’, coupled with case study stories from my clients (women in banking, law and marketing).
- Tips and tools to overcome Imposter Syndrome including where to start and my framework.
- Q&A and summary.
- Optional add-ons for your company:
- Data into Imposter Syndrome in your company – how is it affecting your employees? The data will be shared in the keynote as well as insights and recommendations to consider.
- The Women’s Vault’s Overcome Imposter Syndrome online course with the option to include group coaching sessions for optimum results.
This keynote speech is being delivered to two companies in March 2023 for International Women’s Day. One company has selected the Imposter Syndrome Overcome your Imposter Syndrome Course with group coaching sessions. Further details can be provided. Please contact me at oliviabath@olivia
Alternatively, I have crated a self-paced digital course, designed to be completed within four weeks, that gives you all of the tools you need to feel qualified, speak up for yourself, and attract top-level positions. The course will enable you to be confident speaking up in meetings, rather than holding yourself back over fear of sounding unknowledgeable.
Blog: Imposter Syndrome continues to worsen for women & why Cinderella’s (ugly) stepsisters helped me overcome my own Imposter
Courses: Digital courses from The Women’s Vault
Daily tips: Get daily guidance, advise and tips by following my Instagram account here
Podcast: Listen to my appearance on Anna Mathur’s The Therapy Edit podcast, where I discuss working mothers’ confidence in the workplace