90% of female employees suffer from Imposter Syndrome

New study lays bare glaring issue for HR

90% of female employees suffer from Imposter Syndrome

Ever felt that you're not enough? You're not alone. A new study released today found that even with years of experience, the majority of adults still feel incompetent at work - a glaring phenomenon of what is called the Impostor Syndrome.

Impostor Syndrome is a psychological pattern which causes chronic self-doubt and overwhelming feelings of inadequacy, often despite repeated success and accomplishments. The latest report from The Hub Spot revealed that 85% of employees feel this incompetence at work, despite having at least three years of experience in their field.

From the report, it showed that 80% of men experience Impostor Syndrome, while a bigger 90% of women suffer from this. Despite the syndrome being this widespread, only 25% are aware of this.

One of the most notable symptoms of the Impostor Syndrome is suffering from intrusive thoughts - a condition 48% of the report's respondents admitted to experiencing.

These intrusive thoughts made 25% believe that their success is only based on luck, 19% think that their boss or colleagues will find out they are "underqualified," another 15% said they only got the job due to being short on candidates, while 11% don't think they deserve the praise they receive.

Read more: How to beat imposter syndrome at work

How to help them?

Based on the research, employees who are suffering from Impostor Syndrome want to be helped in the following ways:

  • 69% want regular positive and helpful feedback on performance
  • 44% want more open environment to discuss challenges
  • 43% believe coaching and mentors for staff will help
  • 35% said employers should provide more accessible mental health services

Christine MacDonald, director of The Hub Events, stressed that the cure for impostor syndrome cannot be done in an individual level.

"There needs to be a wider environment of acceptance and positive reinforcement," said MacDonald.

According to The Hub Spot, the conversation around the Impostor Syndrome should be reframed to be seen as a systematic problem.

"So when you are building a team, ensure that there is some representation. So much so that a single employee doesn't feel like they are representing their entire group of people."

"Make it your mission to elevate different perspectives, particularly from marginalised groups. Show that they are more than a representation of that group and cultivate an environment of equity and inclusivity."

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