[Photo courtesy of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia]
I’m on a train heading from Philadelphia to New York City for a meeting with a group of high-powered people in the healthcare industry. As usual, I’m taking time to review the attendee list and go over notes on their collective backgrounds. I just realized that I’ll be the only woman in the meeting.
Now I’m giving myself a mental pep talk,
“How do I position myself in the room, how will I get a word in edgewise with this group, will they simply dismiss me? Should I practice my power poses in the restroom to increase my testosterone? Remember, keep your voice directed, loud and low.”
Wow, it takes a lot of energy to do this. I’m sure the male attendees are not going through this exercise before entering the meeting.
I’ve always been drawn to the phrase, “chance favors the prepared,” and I’ve advised women many times on how to prepare for meetings such as this. Unfortunately, often times that means more than just doing the background work. For me I know it’s true, being a woman means spending a lot more of my energy on mental preparation for meetings. Who has felt the same way? What have you done to combat this imposter syndrome?