75% of female executives get imposter syndrome

Three-quarters of female executives have experienced imposter syndrome in their careers, according to a new study from tax advisory firm KPMG

Imposter syndrome — doubting one's abilities and feeling like a fraud — is believed to affect more women than men. Women expect lower pay than men, are subject to condescension in the workplace and have less faith they will be treated equally. These compounded issues result in lowered confidence among working women — even high-achievers, KPMG found. 

The firm surveyed 750 executive women who are "one or two career steps away from the C-suite." Here are five additional findings from their poll: 

  • Eighty-five percent of respondents believe imposter syndrome is most frequently experienced by women in corporate America. 

  • Eighty-one percent believe women put more pressure on themselves not to fail than men do. 

  • Fifty-six percent are afraid they will not live up to the expectations of people around them. 

  • Forty-seven percent said their imposter syndrome stems from never expecting to reach the level of success they have achieved. 

  • Seventy-two percent of executive women look to a mentor or adviser when doubting their own abilities. 

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