Women in Tech Explain How to Beat Imposter Syndrome

In a recent “Empowering Women in STEM” virtual event, panelists Talia Fayaz, Noelle Silver, and Erika Tapia shared how they beat imposter syndrome in a male-dominated field. Their goal is to help anyone going through this very common experience. 

Access the entire Empowering Women in STEM event

Is Imposter Syndrome Common?

You may have noticed more people discussing imposter syndrome, especially on professional platforms such as LinkedIn. With several articles and classes on overcoming imposter syndrome, it’s clear that this is phenomenon isn’t just a fleeting trend. 

About 70% of people have experienced imposter syndrome at some point in their lives. Surprisingly, this number includes executives, high-ranking members of an organization, and possibly your own manager. When you look at the numbers closer, we see that the number is exceptionally high among ethnic minority groups. 

A large factor in these higher numbers can be attributed to underrepresentation. For example, think about women of color in tech. While there have been some improvements in that area, there is still a long way to go to break down barriers of bias and stereotypes. 

In the event that a woman of color is the only one in her group of colleagues, she might not feel like she has someone who can relate to her experiences and offer meaningful support.

While underrepresentation is just one piece of the puzzle, it’s possible to break the cycle with this topic in mind. 

Find Your Community

From having a mentor that cheers you on and keeps you accountable to creating a network of colleagues and friends to open doors and provide that support you need, finding your community is essential to overcoming imposter syndrome. 

Being surrounded by the right people gives you an objective view of yourself and your accomplishments. On the other hand, when you’re falling short of your potential, a community of supporters will provide the feedback you need to get back on track. The need for community and support is essential for young, less experienced professionals and can be a game-changer for their career trajectory. 

Beating imposter syndrome can also mean breaking the cycle for those who come after you. Pay it forward by being a role model to someone who may not have someone to guide them. Take on a mentor role and help others navigate their new environment or role.

Create Space by Setting Boundaries

“I’m in a group of all-male engineers, and I try to create space for myself by speaking up in meetings.” – Talia Fayaz, panelist.

Speaking up for yourself, while difficult at times, will not only give you the space to create boundaries, it can also lead to you discovering your true values and strengths. When you do this enough times, you’ll realize just how far from an imposter you really are. Whether or not you experience imposter syndrome, you can benefit from creating space for yourself at work (or anywhere else, for that matter). 

Noelle Silver, Empowering Women in STEM panelist, said it best, “…You start creating space for yourself by making personal boundaries, but also making space for yourself in the world by telling your story—because the world really needs it.” 

Next Steps

Looking for more tips to beat imposter syndrome? Access our on-demand event for free. Join our panelists as they discuss imposter syndrome, using social media as a networking tool (the right way), career outlooks and opportunities within the data science field, and more! 


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