Women are more likely to suffer from imposter syndrome than men, research finds

A study of 4,000 adults found 53 per cent of women have experienced this feeling of unfounded self-doubt, incompetence and being underqualified.

Comparatively the majority of men admit they only ever feel like an imposter in the workplace (63 per cent) and over half (54 per cent) say they have never felt it at all.

Boosting confidence

Women are most likely to experience it in the workplace (72 per cent), during education (29 per cent) and when out with friends (29 per cent).

Of these females, 24 per cent cite it gets in the way during romantic relationships, and 18 per cent when parenting.

Pressure to ‘have it all’ is a key trigger for one in five to experience imposter syndrome.

And 22 per cent believe it stopped them making new friends.

It also emerged symptoms of imposter syndrome start on average at 23 years old for women, with 62 per cent admitting that throughout their lives they have rarely experienced true confidence.

The research was commissioned by Galaxy confectionary as part as part of its video series launch How to Thrive with Young Women’s Trust to help give the tools to conquer imposter syndrome.

The chocolate brand has also teamed up with television presenter AJ Odudu to raise awareness about the issue, she said: “Imposter syndrome can be a crippling entity which impacts so many areas of everyday life.

“It can consume you whilst on social media, it can take over when away from home for the first time at university, it can also have an impact when forging friendships.

“As someone that has faced it regularly in the past, it’s been a pleasure working on this content series where I get to work alongside some incredible people and hopefully provide some tangible advice for women across the UK.”

The study also found while 63 per cent believe a lack of confidence initially contributed to these feelings, 44 per cent think constantly comparing themselves to others was another root cause.

And three in 10 think being a ‘perfectionist’ has influenced it.

Worryingly, just a quarter of women who feel like an imposter have spoken openly about it, compared to 37 per cent of men.

While only 30 per cent of women with these feelings have tried to reduce them.

However, of those who have not attempted to mitigate imposter syndrome, 45 per cent conceded they ‘don’t know where to start’ to overcome it.

While half admitted they have just learnt to live with it.

Reaching potential

Overall, 65 per cent of the men and women polled, via OnePoll, believe imposter syndrome has become more prevalent among younger people because of the pressure they face – like constant connectivity and social media.

Victoria Gell, spokesperson for Galaxy, said; “Our ambition is to empower young women, creating a ripple effect of women who then go on to enable the next generation to thrive.

“From the work we do supporting women in our cocoa growing regions with education, finance support and entrepreneurship, to campaigns such as this, we want to help make a difference.”

Claire Reindorp, CEO at Young Women’s Trust said: “Young women face many challenges reaching their potential, progressing in life and earning what they should.

“They’re more likely to be in lower paid jobs and sectors of the economy and more likely to get stuck there.

“At a time in life when women should be growing and learning, they’re instead too often trapped in a struggle just to get by.

“I am delighted that Galaxy is helping us to tackle this head-on, by funding our coaching service which helps young women to increase their incomes and their confidence.”