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Fast Company Middle East – women executives in the Middle East experience imposter syndrome

Aurora50 in the media - Fast Company Middle East
Suzanne Locke 4 June 2024

Aurora50 recently commented in a Fast Company Middle East feature on imposter syndrome and women executives.

“Experts say women feeling self-doubt in the workplace is a product of work culture, societal barriers, and restrictive policies,” writes Miriam Mikhael.

“Suzanne Locke, content strategist at Middle East-based DEI impact agency Aurora50, says women in the region are pressured to ‘present positively’ in the workplace. They feel pressured to avoid admitting to struggles to demonstrate their competency.

[Related: Imposter syndrome: Facts and tips for the executive woman, business and managerImposter sydrome: Why ‘presenting positive’ doesn’t work]

“‘In many of our management workshops on imposter syndrome, women say they don’t recognize it even when we describe it. But we generally find they identify with the different imposter ‘types,’ especially the superhero, who feels they must be a super mum, executive, sister, and daughter.’

“Locke emphasizes the importance of training managers on imposter syndrome. Fearful leaders, worried about being exposed as inadequate, can create a toxic work environment that hinders hiring and employee retention. Companies can foster a more supportive and positive culture by openly discussing imposter syndrome, a common experience for many.

“’Remember your successes and why you are qualified to do your job. Acknowledge your imposter syndrome, but don’t let it hold you back—feel the fear and do it anyway. Keep saying yes to opportunities. Talk it out with managers, mentors, family, and friends to work out where your imposter syndrome is coming from and how to manage it,’ Locke says.”

Read the full story on the Fast Company Middle East site.

As 75 percent of executive women have suffered imposter syndrome, we at Aurora50 think understanding how to tackle it is vital – and make it part of all our training and development in NOORA, Pathway20 and other developmental programmes.