Manage Imposter Syndrome

Six Techniques for Women in STEM + Careers to Recognize and Manage Imposter Syndrome

According to a KPMG study, 75 percent of female executives across industries have experienced imposter syndrome in their careers. To recognize and manage imposter syndrome, it’s first important to look at the key findings of the study so that STEM + women know they aren’t alone, including: 

  • Seventy-five percent of executive women report having personally experienced imposter syndrome at certain points in their career. 
  • Eighty-five percent believe imposter syndrome is commonly experienced by women in corporate America. 
  • Seventy-four percent of executive women believe that their male counterparts do not experience feelings of self-doubt as much as female leaders do. 
  • Eighty-one percent believe they put more pressure on themselves not to fail than men do.  

Many High Achieving Women in STEM + Experience Imposter Syndrome

At Gotara, we find that many women in STEM + careers experience imposter syndrome from time to time. This is no surprise since imposter syndrome disproportionately affects high-achieving people, who find it difficult to accept their accomplishments. Many question whether they’re deserving of the accolades. Even Dr. Malika Grayson, the first Black American woman to receive a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Cornel, has experienced imposter syndrome .

Recognize and Manage Imposter Syndrome

For women in STEM + careers, finding the underlying cause of overcoming imposter syndrome starts with first recognizing it and then managing it. Here are six techniques to explore:

1. RETHINK THE SITUATION:

In his TEDx talk “What if imposter syndrome is a good thing?” Peter Shepherd considers these moments of self-doubt as growing pains. It’s a good reminder to think of your career and your life as a wonderful learning opportunity and to enjoy the ride—even when there are a few bumps.

2. STAY GROUNDED: 

Remind yourself that you have spent years studying in this space and that few people know what you know.  

3. LOOK INWARD:

Determine what’s behind that lack of confidence or fear of being found out? Once you identify the underlying driver, you can address it head-on. 

4. BE PROUD:

Remind yourself daily the things you’re good at and what you’re still learning.  

5. GET FEEDBACK:

Sometimes an outside perspective helps me to refocus and get things back into perspective. 

6. RESEARCH:

Get the facts! From the American Psychological Association to Harvard Business Review to becoming a Gotara member, there are so many ways to dive into this subject. When you dive in, you’ll find that you aren’t alone. You’ll also discover that you aren’t an imposture. You’re amazing.

How Gotara Can Help 

At Gotara, we always think about what makes a good and successful woman leader in STEM + careers. Our team has over 100+ years of combined working experience as women in STEM + leadership positions at companies like Amazon, General Electric, Nielsen, Hub International, and more. 

We understand what STEM + women really want from their employers to stay and grow in their careers and take a holistic approach to help all stakeholders. 

Are you a STEM + career woman? 

Become a Gotara member to gain free access to just-in-time advice designed for and by STEM+ women leaders who have been in your shoes. Not only will you find answers to questions like how to recognize and manage imposter syndrome, but you also gain 24/7 access to trusted confidential career advice in a community of over 15,000 women from 163 countries.  

Are you an employer of women in STEM +? 

Explore Gotara’s comprehensive career growth platform for STEM + women to increase innovation, productivity, employee satisfaction, retention, recruiting, and grow a pipeline of leaders. Our unique approach offers:  

  • Reimagined mentoring, coaching, and upskilling, 
  • Bite-sized “nanolearning” under STAR leadership development programs providing “just-in-time” advice as needed, 
  • Content—created for and by STEM + women — delivered in quick, consumable bite-size pieces that are relevant, relatable, immediately actionable, and effective.