Conference News May 2022 | Page 13

13 Imposter Syndrome

in general are not essential to enter the events industry . We need to appreciate the value of both education and experience ,” Hollas adds .
For event graduates , entering the industry is difficult as most entry level roles ask for three to five years ’ experience . “ The root of imposter syndrome is when expectations are set exceedingly high , and the belief of what it means to be competent is unrealistic . This potentially highlights why so many young people and newcomers experience self-doubt ,” suggests Hollas .
On top of this , Coventry says imposter syndrome is arguably more prevalent in our industry due to the high-demand and high-stress nature of events . “ Eventprofs are always striving to meet unrelenting , high expectations ,” she says .
When we do reach these expectations , we don ’ t always highlight our talents and expertise , according to Mathie . “ This is because our industry is innately and completely designed to deliver behind the scenes . When it comes to shouting about our roles in an event , it does not sit comfortably for most people , and we therefore shy away from it a bit ,” he adds .
Left : Adele Hawkes , communications director , Salesforce . Right : Benedicta Asante , founder of Events 101
Factors to consider
While the eventprof panel collectively agreed on the feelings of imposter syndrome and note the impact within the industry , it ’ s important to recognise other factors that may play a part .
Hawkes tells me imposter syndrome was first identified in the 1970s , where it was thought to only affect “ high-achieving , professional , academic women ”.
However , it ’ s now understood that imposter syndrome in fact affects everyone . “ It affects people from different cultures , nationalities , ethnicities and genders ,” says Hawkes . Asante echoes this and believes “ economic class and background are starting factors and then gender , age and qualifications pile onto that foundation ”.
Focusing on these starting factors , Asante highlights the role of diversity and inclusion . “ Speaking to fellow eventprofs , there ’ s a lack of access in the industry for certain ethnic groups , which makes them feel as though they cannot attain it ,” she says . Whether this is through representation on panels , podcasts or other speaking opportunities , “ the events industry has a huge amount of work to do on increasing the diversity of the workforce to accurately represent us ,” Mathie adds .
Together , these factors ultimately add more layers and
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