Down by the sparkling harbour as night fell, M&T Resources held its very first Driving Diversity event last night in the elegant Utzon Room, Sydney Opera House. Amidst the clinking of wine glasses and quick shuffle of bow-tied waiters and waitresses bringing out Aria-catered canapés, corporate movers and shakers from some of Australia’s biggest organisations exchanged namecards and firm handshakes. Confident smiles and banter aside, they are all here to learn about The Imposter Syndrome, the self-doubt and career-killing effect that plagues 75% of successful people.
The Imposter Syndrome refers to the distorted self-doubt that otherwise competent people have of themselves. People with this syndrome think that they are a fake and fear of one day being exposed that they’re not up to the job. According to experts, it is worst among high performers and those with a high drive to succeed.
“As diversity ambassador for M&T Resources, I really wanted the event to be focussed on an interesting topic that got people thinking and would hopefully educate and inspire those that attended. While society today is talking more about women in leadership roles, the Imposter Syndrome actually applies to everyone at the workplace,” says Louise Byrne, Account Manager at M&T Resources, who is also a champion of diversity at the company.
The topic certainly resonated with the 120 guests from the likes of Suncorp, Optus, Westpac, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Leighton Contractors, Telstra, Lend Lease, IAG and SMS Management and Technology. “Suzanne was truly inspirational to hear from and made me (and plenty of others no doubt) feel not so alone when it comes to these types of challenges in careers,” mentions one of the attendees from Suncorp.
As guest speaker Suzanne Mercier, author and corporate advisor on liberating human potential, explained some of the factors that cause the Imposter Syndrome, many could be seen smiling and nodding their heads. Years ago, Mercier walked away from a successful corporate career in advertising (Mercier was the first female Board Director of George Patterson Advertising) because of the Imposter Syndrome and today is keen to help organisations overcome it.
“Each one of us has a unique contribution to make and when we get out of our own way, possibilities open up. When we recognise and accept those gifts, talents, skills and qualities and let go of being perfect, we start to integrate who we are and how others see us. This is true of us as individuals and as leaders within our organisations and communities,” Mercier said.
The night drew to an end as hampers were given away to a few lucky winners. Byrne, who was inspired after attending a talk by Fiona Floyd, Executive General Manager at Suncorp, concluded the evening by saying that she too at one point in time had some bits of The Imposter Syndrome, doubting her ability to organise this event. Feedback from the attendees on that night tells a different story though.
“It really did feel like you were celebrating women, how far they have come and also highlighting that there is still much to do… Having been a female in a male-dominated industry I have learnt the importance of individual strength and value of being a trusted advisor. I look forward to your next events and seeing how this network develops,” an attendee from a large law firm told Byrne.
For more information on M&T Resources’ DIVERSITY events, please contact Jeremy Chen, Communications & Marketing Manager via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.