When we ask women who have an interest in being mentors, why they haven’t put themselves forward, one of the most common responses we hear is that they don’t think they have enough experience to share.

You wouldn’t believe the credentials and experience of the women who are saying this. We are blown away by their stories and what they have accomplished, but still don’t feel like they have enough value to share with a mentee.


It is a clear example of imposter syndrome: a person with the required experience, doubting their abilities, and not feeling good enough to fill the position. Imposter syndrome is something many people experience, and data suggests that it impacts women more than men.

“Imposters syndrome” is well recognized and was popularized as “the confidence gap” by journalists Claire Shipman and Katty Kay. Their work highlights how women underestimate their abilities, predict they will underperform, and view themselves less deserving of advancement even when research shows that they perform at the same level as male counterparts.” – Melissa J. Armstrong, MD, MSc, and Lisa M. Shulman, MD, Tackling the imposter phenomenon to advance women in the neurology research paper.

It’s one of the reasons why a woman may be less likely to put themselves forward for job opportunities, compared to a man with similar experience, and why there are fewer women who put themselves forward as mentors.

At OneUpOneDown, we see this blocker regularly in our conversations with potential mentors. We also see how the experience of being a mentor helps to overcome imposter syndrome.

Being a mentor is a way for women to recognize their wisdom and experience.

Follow the link above for more details on How mentoring can help you with imposter syndrome.

DianePrince's profile thumbnail
This is SO true! I've been coaching founders, and other folks, as a full-time job for the last 2 years and I couldn't agree more.