One of my friends is a talented CEO, with an amazing professional track record. Last year, she founded a terrific startup with a social mission. She built a team, launched an MVP, and realized great results with high engagement from users. When she was preparing for a seed round of funding, she asked a few friends, including me, for help with the pitch. While she was presenting, I realized that she was occupied with an explanation of why she could lead the company. Her explanation seemed defensive, and I was under the impression that she felt apprehensive to talk about her worthiness for the role. .
As a CEO of a startup, I interview many candidates for different roles. I meet great people with tremendous passion for leveraging technology to make the world a better place. One thing I’ve noticed is that women candidates talk about themselves differently than men, and tend to be less confident speaking about their own accomplishments – even those with impressive expertise and experience. I do my best to deal with these situations during interviews, but as a company that is committed to inclusion and with a socially responsible mission, we’ve thought a lot about what more we can do better regarding this issue.
Imposter syndrome is a known and recognized phenomenon, where someone doesn’t recognize their own personal value and thinks they’re an “imposter”. Everyone at work respects you and listens to your opinion, but internally, you feel it’s only a matter of time until they find out you’re not worthy. You think you don’t really know what to do, you feel like a fake, and if someone would ask you just the wrong question, you’d collapse and the “true” you would be revealed.
Both men and women experience imposter syndrome, but surprisingly, statistics show that 75% of professional women struggle with it. This is a huge number. It means 75% of professional women leaders in the world think less of themselves. I think this number can’t be related to “personal” situations. 75% means this is a phenomenon, that something is broken with the system and the way we do things – the way we educate, the way we manage people, and the way we communicate. So, the question is who will rise to the challenge.
As a CEO , one of my personal goals is to lead this change within our company, and with Circles we can actually make a greater impact that will reach thousands of women. Circles was created to provide support for people who are dealing with similar challenges and so far we found it to be incredibly effective. So we thought why not train more women to support other women and encourage them to feel worthy and empowered?
This year for International Women’s Day, we offer 100 women free training on how to moderate a Circle for women. We are partnering with communities like SuperSonas and companies like Radware to offer this training to their female members and employees. Each moderator will lead a group of 6-8 women, and by leveraging the group’s power, we’re sure all participants will get tools to help them feel better about themselves and recognize their powerful inner strength.
Join us as a facilitator and lead a women’s Circle in honor of International Women’s Day.
Learn more and sign up here – https://circlesup.com/mycircle/leaders/.