Banishing your “Imposter Syndrome”

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– Women and minorities often feel self-doubt and anxiety over their abilities after facing racism and bias in the workplace, called “Imposter Syndrome.”
– To banish imposter syndrome for good, it’s high time to stop blaming the women and minorities and create a more inclusive culture.

Here’s a write-up from our advisory board member, Ginny Fogg: Have you heard of the imposter syndrome? If you are a woman or a minority, chances are that you have experienced it yourself. “Stop Telling Women They Have Imposter Syndrome” in the Harvard Business Review is an excellent, thought-provoking article. Whether you are wondering what it means … or feeling way too close for comfort, authors Ruchika Tulshyan and Jodi-Ann Burey explain the issue clearly and offer a way to stop it.

Women and minorities often feel self-doubt and anxiety over their abilities in the workplace. Sure, white males may feel it too. But for them, it’s usually when they are the new kid on the block, and it fades as their confidence grows. Women and minorities may be facing systemic racism or pervasive bias in the workplace. Questions and doubt about their abilities or how they approach a particular project inhibit their ability to erase self-doubt. In fact, such comments and reactions can cause self-doubt and anxiety to grow to the point they feel like an imposter in their own job. This article presents a new viewpoint on how to banish imposter syndrome for good. “Fixing bias, not women” is the answer. Creating an inclusive workforce that is supportive of women and minorities can stop imposter syndrome.

Culture is hard to define, and even harder to change. This article describes culture in a foundational way, while at the same time explaining the urgency in creating a more supportive culture. Take a read and let me know what you think. I bet we all have stories of struggles, encouragement and triumphs in the workplace, and this may shed some light on those experiences.