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Imposter Syndrome: Addressing it Individually and the Attributes of Organizations that Remedy it
Thursday, February 25 @ 5:45 pm - 7:15 pm
Imposter syndrome is a common experience for women and members of underrepresented groups. In this workshop we will engage in reflective exercises, small group dialogues, and receive practical tools for addressing the symptoms of imposter syndrome. If you have ever experienced anxiety, marginalization and or just a general sense that you were “not good enough” while working in a professional field or organization, the fault is not your own. Although we intellectually understand that our identities are fluid, “the right cultural fit in organizations” is an implicit bias and cultural practice that is often perpetuated consciously (or unconsciously) within organizations, workplaces, and educational settings. Because the concepts, labels, and organizational understanding of “fit” for best outcomes is misunderstood, organizational cultures often speak of diversity but keep delivering micro-practices of marginalization. Women are often the first to internalize these micro-practices (even micro-aggressions). Dr. Yeomans current research on imposter syndrome recognizes this form of long-term trauma more readily affects women and minorities and arises in individuals experiencing dissonance between self and immediate cultural practices, micro-performances, and cultural narratives that either foster thriving or marginalization.
Melinda Yeomans, Ph.D. is a Communication Studies, Leadership and Cultural Scholar focused on interdisciplinary research applied to leadership studies. She is a Distinguished Teaching Fellow in the Honors Program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and the Education Chair for the United Nations Association of Southern Illinois. She brings together the fields of Organizational Communication, Leadership Communication, and Intercultural Communication in her research on women’s leadership development and optimizing organizational cultures for inclusion. Her current work identifies best practices at the intersections of identity, empowerment, confidence, thriving and productivity in organizations. Dr. Yeomans’ organizational culture research began with her ethnographic studies on optimizing educational cultures in K12 settings for students from marginalized backgrounds. It has evolved from this to include a focus on women’s leadership development and leadership development in general. Her most recent publication can be found in Innovation and Excellence in Honors Education, Cambridge University Press 2019. You can watch her TEDxCarbondale talk entitled “(Re)claiming the Intelligent Heart for in Schooling and Society”.
MASS AWIS is the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association for Women in Sciences. Our mission is to support women in all scientific fields and to achieve equity and full participation for women in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology. Our events and membership are open for the public regardless of their gender, professional background, or career level.