Women are trying to match up with men in every field. Be it technology or creative department. But somewhere, women are made to feel less capable or almost unworthy of what they are doing. They are always internalized from the start that they cannot do certain things, and our brain starts believing it. We start judging our capabilities, self-doubt develops, and we believe that we are a misfit despite being perfect skilled professionals. This is a psychological brain mess, which is also known as Imposter Syndrome takes a toll on your mental and physical health.
However, there is a variety of reasons why women across feel like a fraudster or inadequate. One of the main reasons could be their upbringing, societal pressure, a sense of belonging, and their personality.
Despite being educated, certified, and trained in their respective fields, they find it very hard to be comfortable and see themselves and their worth. That’s why most women work for long hours just to prove themselves, never asking questions or help from co-workers. They face more anxiety, stress, and burnout while trying to stay focussed on the project.
The Main Characteristics Of Imposter Syndrome Are:
Researchers have found that up to 82% of people have suffered from this syndrome. It damages a person’s confidence, and self-esteem and thus unable to show up fully in their work which is a rising concern in organisations.
However, there are workspace aspects that contribute to the increase of imposter syndrome.
Lack of Role Models:
Finding people like you, who share the same background or successful people in your field makes you feel that you don’t belong here or you are not good enough. Seeing men in managerial roles will always make you think being a manager is hard work.
Racist and Sexist comment:
Comments are always our trigger points. We have heard enough that women are not good leaders because they’re too emotional. Women can never excel in maths or science.
Less Supportive Team:
It is difficult to survive in a team where the male chauvinist is the majority in number. Having a supportive performance manager, who can hear you out, guide you through and take measures to help you grow is a boon for working women.
Unfair Work Environment:
Gender inequality has always been a struggle for women working in various fields. Being fairly rewarded with significant pay, job roles, and feedback can help women cope with imposter syndrome.
People’s mindsets need to change, they need to understand how important a career is for women just like for men, and equality adds value to their self-esteem. No one would like to treat less than another who is working with the same designation, with equal experience.
Mentorship and sponsorship both help women to build their lost confidence and overcome barriers for betterment. This adds valuable support, confidence, and guidance to navigate their careers and make important decisions, leaving behind the imposter syndrome.
Organisations need to organise more sponsoring and mentorship programs for women to achieve gender equality, and create awareness about inclusive workplaces. Significantly, women face barriers to career advancement, highlighted by gender bias, and disproportionate household responsibilities, the gender pay gap is still a prominent challenge to be addressed.
It is a fact that managerial crisis and manager quality does have an impact on their performance. When psychological safety is at bay, people are more comfortable being in their shoes. There are chances to open up to their team leads with ideas and innovations, which also adds to mental health.
Create a culture of Psychological safety by:
It is surely a daunting challenge, but the first step to cultivating togetherness and open communication can help to prevent imposter syndrome to creep up and let psychological safety hike up.
Along with career growth and development, it is also important for employees especially women to be benefitted from professional development opportunities. It is proved that when women pursue development in their careers have higher productivity scale, job satisfaction, and retention. Being technically strong, and confident, there is no room for imposter syndrome in female employees.
Addressing and applauding achievements is always a moment of pride but women employees with imposter syndrome are more likely to turn away from such accomplishments because the block is too heavy to move away from.
However, a few aspects like timely appreciation, meet-greet-eat programs, and wall mount of fame moments can bring up their morale, shift their working style, and gift a happier employee to the organisation.
Every employee has their own identity. Everyone should be treated with respect, without any judgments towards their culture, color, performance, and age. Organisations should ensure biased judgments are not encouraged. Conducting training programs teach employees togetherness, and how to respect their co-workers, and also sets expectations of how leaders are diverse, equitize, and inclusive practices that help the organisation to grow.
Discrimination is another issue that organisations should address. Female employees are paid less than male employees for the same role which leads to gender inequality and draws room for imposter syndrome among women.
Achieving a harmonious work-life balance is crucial for improving our physical, emotional, and mental well-being, as work often takes precedence over everything else. To prioritise employees’ commitments and family life, organizations should offer flexible work hours and establish policies for paid leaves, wellness programs, and family support.
Organisations need to work on exit and re-entry plans, which also include maternity leave. Women are disproportionately affected by having children; therefore, businesses need to discuss helping them transition out of and back into the workforce after having kids. Additionally, dependent childcare support should be a facility that every organisation should look into. A provision of day-care services, knowledgeable and supportive co-workers, and a guilt-free workspace allow female employees to work towards their dream, leaving behind the imposter syndrome.
Other than psychological and work balance life, organisations need to look into the safety of their employees during and after office hours. I’m Safe App is one such app that can assist you with various safety measures. This app is specially designed for women and their personal and professional safety.
Organisations hiring female employees need to sign up with I’m Safe app and hire a female advisor who can help girls to overcome the hurdles they face in the workspace. Concerns can be raised through the app, anonymously. If female employees are traveling late in the night or working rotational shifts, I’m Safe app can protect them virtually with Track Me, SOS, Fake calls, and anonymous recording in case of any emergency arise. Just one click and their trusted contacts will be notified immediately. Safety should always be on the priority list and need to be emphasized whenthe team consists of female employees.
On a final note, work-life balance is a misrepresentation of just work, like something outside of our lives, whereas, it should be integrated with other aspects of our lives for a balanced living. Women don’t need more tips on how to manage work and home. All they need is institutional support that understands, stands by them, and adopts the peculiarities of being a career-oriented woman.