Do you – or do you know of a co-worker – who thinks they’re a failure, or not good enough, despite all evidence indicating a skilled and quite successful person? It’s a common misperception estimated to be held by 70% of people, and it’s called Imposter Syndrome.
Since the start of the COVID pandemic 29% of respondents in the miro “A Year of Remote Work” survey say they’ve experienced an increase in doubting their accomplishments.
Imposter Syndrome has an outsize effect on certain groups. Women, women of colour (especially black women) and the LGBTQ community are most at risk. But why is this? Emily Hu, a clinical psychologist, says, “We’re more likely to experience imposter syndrome if we don’t see many examples of people who look like us or share our background who are clearly succeeding in our field”. In other words, the lack of role models has a large part to play in whether people feel whether they belong or not.
“For years I thought Nasa only hired me because they needed women” Maureen Zappala, rocket scientist.
Expert on the subject of Imposter Syndrome, Dr Valerie Young, identifies five subgroups: