Throughout my forty-year career within a range of big and small companies, I frequently saw clever talented hard-working and competent women doing great work – yet very few of them made it to the top.
And, many who did get there put themselves under huge pressure and made big sacrifices to achieve their success. Then, at some point, they would end up asking ‘What for?’ and start looking for a way out.
I stepped out of a successful business and started looking for a different way of doing ‘success’. At the same time, the Government started asking why there were not more women at the top in the face of evidence that women are good for business.
Many structural changes have been introduced since to facilitate leadership opportunities for women. Yet women’s progress into senior leadership positions remains slow. From my own experience and from working with others, I’m convinced it’s because hidden barriers still remain; barriers that are fundamentally attitudinal.
What blocked me from fully enjoying and embracing my success was what is now recognised as the Imposter Syndrome. This has talented people attributing their achievements to luck, discounting their capabilities and fearing being exposed as frauds. It can lead to burn-out from an overly driven need to succeed, or not reaching for senior positions for fear of being found out. Particularly in male-dominated environments where talented women can feel isolated and lack support.
I was very fortunate. I learned how to overturn the Imposter Syndrome and transform other attitudes that were limiting my success. This led me to set up my business, Attitude Coach, so I could help others do the same. We now work with business leaders who appreciate the value women bring but are frustrated by how best to unlock that potential and leverage the benefits of diversity. And, we support professional women to embrace and enjoy greater success. Our unique and powerful approach transforms limiting mindsets so that businesses and the individuals – men as well as women – within them can flourish.