Despite a raft of advances designed to afford women the same opportunities as men over the past century or so, gender imbalances still exist in work, society and the home.
This is particularly evident in the STEM sector where women are highly underrepresented in technical and managerial roles. The reason for this is multifaceted and difficult to resolve; cultural, social, educational and psychological reasons interplay to deliver a ‘perfect storm’ of under-representation across the STEM workplace.
Are you a woman working in a STEM occupation? Take a quick test* to see if you’ve experienced the Impostor Phenomenon.
One area of investigation that needs more work is the psychological underpinnings of confidence and self efficacy of women working in STEM occupations. While there is considerable work being undertaken to get women into the STEM workplace, there is still scope to improve what we know about the retention and advancement of women once in the job.
The picture of what prevents women from achieving at all levels is dominated by external factors such as access to training, barriers inherent in recruitment and selection and overt and implicit bias in workplace systems. However, little work has been undertaken in regard to internal experiences of the Impostor Phenomenon (IP) in women; the unconscious self limiting feelings of being inadequate, unqualified and fraudulent despite evidence to the contrary.
I'm undertaking research to identify the prevalence of IP in women in STEM. This research will inform further work to better address gender imbalances and to broaden the pool of talent available to the STEM sector more widely.
If you're a woman and work in a STEM occupation (particularly if you're working in a Data Centre) I'd like to hear from you.