Women at work – Are you faking it?

A closer look at Imposter Syndrome

So in my final post for International Women’s Day, I am going to consider the issue of Imposter Syndrome, which can have a dramatic impact on a woman’s ambition. It used to be thought of as the domain of the high woman achiever. However, it is a syndrome also experienced by men, although originally was only identified in women and it was felt was far more prevalent amongst women than men. Amy Cuddy in her book ‘Presence’ talks about it being a female issue rather than a male issue as men are far less likely to talk about it for fear of social punishment for failing to conform to social stereotypes, i.e. that men are assertive and confident. Clance and Imes, the two psychologists who originally termed the condition found in their clinical experience that it occurs much less frequently in men and when it does occur, it is far less intense. However, more recent research published by the International Journal of Behavioural Science in 2011, shows that 70% of men and women have experienced it at some point in their lives. Millennial’s may suffer from Imposter Syndrome even more as they have commenced their careers at a time of extreme technological pace, where there are constant comparisons on social media between peer group members. Continue reading