When first identified by psychologists in the 70's, it was thought only women felt this way.
Later work showed that both men and women feel like impostors, and US-based studies indicate that as much as 70% of the population is affected.
It's possible that New Zealanders are more likely to feel like impostors because being self-effacing is part of our culture.
1) Being a minority
As is the case in many industries, women in geothermal commonly find themselves in forums where they are the only one of their gender.
If you are a gender, ethnic, sexual orientation or religious minority, its likely that you already feel like an outsider.
Feeling like an outsider amplifies the feeling of being an impostor.
A further compounding factor is that many women who in this situation will feel like they're representing their gender: "If I fail, they'll think that women aren't good at this". This pressure often leads to anxiety about performance that can result in over-preparation and a fear of making mistakes—two behaviours that can slow any career.
This difference can be described using the pants analogy.
A woman tries on a pair of pants. The pants don't fit. The woman thinks about what's wrong with her. Too fat? Too thin? Wrong shape?
A man tries on a pair of pants. The pants don't fit. The man thinks about what's wrong with the pants. Too big? Too small? Poorly made?