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Wed 28 Apr 2021
12:00 - 13:00

Provided by: Equality & Diversity


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Faking it: The implications of the Impostor Phenomenon in Higher Education

Wed 28 Apr 2021


While the ‘imposter syndrome’ has been somewhat trivialised in social media recently, the impostor phenomenon (as it is more correctly known) is of key concern to those in higher education. Initiatives aimed at broadening participation of under-represented groups (e.g. women in STEM, first in family, BAME students) will be less than successful unless ‘feelings of intellectual fraudulence’ associated with ‘otherness’ is addressed and diminished. This of course, relates to both staff and students.

This introductory workshop, delivered by Dr Theresa Simpkin, aims to highlight the implications of impostor phenomenon in the higher education setting, highlighting how the often debilitating experience can adversely affect achievement, engagement and learning experiences on campus and into the workplace. The workshop also introduces some responses that may assist faculty and support services to address the experience faced by many students and staff alike.

This event is hosted and provided by the University of Cambridge Women’s Staff Network and is open to member and non-members

Dr Theresa (Terri) Simpkin BBA (HRM), BCom (Hons), PhD, PGCert(HE), MCIPD, CPHR, Churchill Fellow Terri Simpkin is an industry experienced academic, educator, researcher, public speaker and an authority on the impostor phenomenon.

Terri is an Associate Professor and Head of MBA Programmes (Int’l) at the University of Nottingham and a Visiting Fellow at Anglia Ruskin University. Her current research interest has developed into ‘Braver Stronger Smarter’ – a suite of initiatives designed to address personal and structural issues leading to workplace inequity and the under-representation of women in leadership, STEM occupations and higher education. As CEO of her own company, Mischief Business Engineering, she has worked globally with governments, industry associations, large and small business and is an accomplished international academic manager.

Target audience

Professional Services and Academic staff


Number of sessions: 1

# Date Time Venue Trainers
1 Wed 28 Apr   12:00 - 13:00 12:00 - 13:00 Jenny Rampling,  Amy Dolben
  • Gain clarity about what imposer phenomenon is and how it is manifested in behaviour and thought habits in HE contexts.
  • Recognise the broad implications of imposer phenomenon on the individual and those around them (personally and professionally).
  • Develop an understanding of ‘triggers’ and sources of ‘impostor’ feelings and behaviours in an academic context. Explore how interactions in a learning environment (e.g. praise and critique) are interpreted by people who experience IP.
  • Explore a ‘tool kit’ of activities to diminish the impact of ‘impostor’ behaviours and feelings for individuals as well as within the supervisory relationship.

Zoom Video Conferencing : the joining instructions will be provided on your booking confirmation email.


Members of the University who do not have a Raven login can book their place via email to the EDI team on

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