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WIT Session: “The Imposter Syndrome- When Successful Women Feel Like Frauds”
Topic: The Database
Owner: Kellyn Gorman
Date: 2013-05-29
Subtopic: Solutions

What is Imposter, (aka Fraud) Syndrome and why do so many people feel this way? Georgia University psychologists, Pauline Rose Clance and Sue Imes penned the term “Imposter Syndrome” back in 1978 when referring to those that were susceptible to feeling that they were frauds or imposters, no matter how skilled or successful they were. Both experts recognized that only about 20% of the cases involved men and started to investigate how much was due to nature vs. nurture and culture.

The popular and successful actress Tina Fey, Facebook COO and author Sheryl Sandberg, among others, have all admitted to experiencing fraud syndrome. Research has shown, men often judge themselves consistently as performing better than their actual performance and women do the opposite. Why do highly successful women so often feel like imposters or frauds? Lawrence Cohen, author of Playful Parenting, summarizes existing research on the subject by saying that while inborn differences do exist, they are quite small but are then nurtured and exacerbated by the way we raise girls and boys. Where boys are a bit more likely to seek out power, girls are more likely to seek out connections. Society is the larger stakeholder that takes over and reinforces these differences rather than minimizing them, impacting men and women even more once they enter the workplace.

Where once boys were boasting, bluffing and taking risks, girls were raised to be self-conscious, aware of their appearance and hold back from more assertive behavior. Learning how this then impacts us in the workplace is a key to understanding how this syndrome is so often seen in women.

Attendees will learn:

- New perspective on cultural and behavioral traits we are raised with and how these can impact how we interact in the workplace.

- Identifying sublime habits that have us thinking we were "just lucky" or other ways of limiting our successes/accomplishments.

- How limiting ourselves, limit the examples we set and the cost to those around us.

- How we can overcome these feelings and strive for success.

Download File   Rhythms I Session 12.mp4

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