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Addressing Impostor Syndrome in 30 Minutes

June 24, 2016

Addressing Impostor Syndrome in 30 Minutes

Impostor Syndrome is the feeling that you aren’t really qualified for the work you are doing and will be discovered as a fraud. Many women, People of Color, QUILTBAG persons, and others from marginalized groups experience Impostor Syndrome, especially when they’ve (we’ve) been socialized to value others’ opinions of work above their own. People developing new skills (something we must do constantly in tech) are also prime sufferers. Want help overcoming your Impostor Syndrome and decreasing its incidence in your community? This talk is for you.

These slides are very light on descriptions, but video of the talk should be up shortly. I will update this description at that point.


June 24, 2016

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  1. “In every job I’ve had in the last 25 years,

    I’ve been the first woman to hold my position—head of computer science and Dean of Science at the University of British Columbia, Dean of Engineering at Princeton, and now President of Harvey Mudd College. As my career progressed, so did the intensity of my feelings of failure.”
  2. Some definitions for us all ... Impostor Syndrome is: •

    A psychological phenomenon in which people have trouble internalizing their accomplishments. • Possibly what’s going on when you say to yourself, “I lucked out to be here; it has nothing to do with my skills or experience.” • Not a medical diagnosis. • Really, really, really common. Particularly amongst high achievers. • Term coined by Drs. Pauline Clance & Suzanne Imes in 1978.
  3. Some definitions for us all ... Kyriarchy is: • Combo

    of Greek “kyrios” (lord, master) and “archein” (rule, govern). • Intersecting, institutionalized oppressions of sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, etc. • Word coined by Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza in 1992.
  4. Have you received this message? “We’re sorry, but there’s been

    a mistake. We didn’t intend to accept your project submission, or your proposal to speak at this event, or your membership application to this group...”
  5. Have you received this message? “We’ve reviewed your promotion packet,

    and you’ re not even qualified for the job you have right now!”
  6. Everyone raise your hand if you’re able to do so!

    [Photo Credit: “Raising Hands to the Sky at Rally to Close the Gaps,” Fibonacci Blue, CC]
  7. Pro Tip: “Fake it until you make it” results in

    feeling like you’ve faked it.
  8. Hello! My name is __________________________________ and I am the expert

    in this room on ____________________ because _________________________________________ _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________