May 10, 2022
Three in five workers experience imposter syndrome with women and younger people disproportionately more likely to have feelings of self doubt, according to a new report from jobsite Indeed. The findings from Indeed’s Working on Wellbeing report are based on a YouGov survey of 2,500 UK workers around mental health and highlight how workers still are not getting the support needed from their employer.
Imposter syndrome — feelings of self-doubt and failure that override success at work — is one of the most common mental health issues in today’s workplace, with nearly 3 in 5 (58 percent) employees experiencing imposter syndrome.
Nearly twice as many more women (21 percent) suffer very frequently or always from imposter syndrome than men (12 percent). Notably, millennial respondents (25 to 39-year-olds) are the age group most likely to feel like frauds in the workplace (27 percent), whereas only a small proportion of workers aged 65 and above regularly suffer from feelings of self-doubt (3 percent).
Collectively, these statistics are dwarfed by transgender respondents of whom a massive 64 percent regularly feel like a failure at work. Overall, more than 1 in 10 (13 percent) employees and 1 in 5 (20 percent) of senior managers admit they ‘always’ or ‘very frequently’ feel like a fraud.
Despite its prevalence, a huge 94 percent of those who have suffered from imposter syndrome haven’t discussed their feelings at work. Of those that are uncomfortable telling their manager their feelings of ‘frequent’ self-doubt, nearly two thirds (61 percent) fear they could be seen as a less capable employee.
Half (52 percent) say they would be embarrassed, 1 in 3 (33 percent) worry that it would not be taken seriously and 29 percent are concerned that their manager would tell others in the organisation. As a result, only 56 percent of these individuals feel supported in the workplace.
Of the many negative effects associated with frequent imposter syndrome, the trickle-down impact translates to greater levels of procrastination (63 percent), longer working hours (57 percent), higher staff turnover (44 percent), a loss in productivity (41 percent), as well as employees avoiding applying for internal promotions (39 percent).