10 GREAT Ways To Conquer Tiara Syndrome

Jane  Lowe: The Great Women's Academy

If you are a high performing woman in the workplace but your career is going nowhere, could you be suffering from Tiara Syndrome? What is Tiara Syndrome? Carol Frohlinger and Deborah Kolb came up with the phrase to describe how women are known to behave in the workplace, performing well but lacking the confidence to negotiate a higher salary and better benefits. Tiara Syndrome basically means that women tend to work really hard and achieve good results but are not very good at making sure it is noticed and rewarded. 

So, women with Tiara Syndrome deliver excellent work, are never off sick, can always be relied on and keep on going hoping that their boss will suddenly notice and place a tiara on their head! Does that sound like you? Don’t worry, it is more common than you might think. Getting a promotion is not an easy thing, especially for women, so it is important to make sure that everyone is aware of your achievements, skills and aspirations. It may seem obvious, but just because you think you should get a shot at a promotion, doesn’t mean that your boss is even aware you are an option and you could get continuously overlooked.

Women are less likely than men to speak up in meetings or share ideas and solutions unless asked. Women don’t generally like to self-promote and tend to hold back in interviews even though they could be more than qualified. Most men, in contrast, look more at transferable skills and believe they can “blag” the rest. If you have identified yourself as suffering from Tiara Syndrome, women confidence could be lacking but don’t panic! There is plenty you can do to break the cycle and change your career outlook. We have put together great 10 tips you can follow that will help you conquer Tiara Syndrome.

1. Own Your Career: Don’t just work away with your head down like a squirrel without a clear path of where you see yourself going career-wise. The famous question, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” was never more appropriate than in this case, except give yourself 1 year to turn things around, and if you are really brave 6 months! Take a good look at your position in the company, is there room to grow? Are there opportunities for you? If you are stuck in a rut you may want to consider that your skills and achievements are wasted and you may want to look at what you can achieve elsewhere.

2. Acknowledge The Problem And Devise An Action Plan:  Suddenly it all makes sense and you realise that you suffer from Tiara Syndrome, what now? It is easier than you think to break old behaviours but the first step is to acknowledge you have a problem. It can be quite freeing to admit you need to change, but once you do, it can really help you to drive a change. Write down all the things that you have achieved, what you are great at in your current role and start planning your next steps. It can be simple things like speaking up at the next meeting, proposing agenda items and giving presentations, sharing team and personal achievements and getting yourself noticed!


3. Promote Yourself Digitally: What about if you really hate to talk about yourself? Not everyone is good at self-promotion face to face, you can use technology instead. It is all about making your boss aware of your achievements, passions and great ideas so copy your boss into relevant emails so they can be gently introduced to how great you are. Share or write about it on LinkedIn or the company Twitter and Facebook accounts.

4. Share Other People’s Successes: Don’t forget to include the team’s achievements if you are a manager as it all reflects on your management skills. Generally, highlighting others' achievements can only result in others promoting you too.

5. Keep A Journal Of Your Accomplishments: This is a great tip for building the evidence required to help you in salary negotiations or internal progression but it can also be a massive confidence booster and be useful for CVs, (resume) appraisals and other career development opportunities. Having a current list to hand means these achievements will simply roll off the tongue and convince your boss you are a consistent achiever.

6. Stop Comparing Yourself To Others: This is very negative behaviour; it can only grow to resentment as you compare your hard work and achievements to someone else’s who you consider to be unworthy of a higher salary or position. Instead, network, especially with other women, support and promote each other and move on.

7. Ask For What You Want: Is it more money? A new role? If you suffer from Tiara Syndrome and don't value yourself, how will anybody else? Once you make your boss aware of your achievements, ask for a catch-up and discuss, or use your annual review as a chance to negotiate a better salary or whatever benefit or perk you are after.

8. Build Your Personal Brand And Network: Put your hand up for projects, offer to help others and suggest solutions, apply for secondment or the chance to share your ideas with others. All these things and many more can increase your visibility, confidence and value within the company. The more people talk about you and your achievements, the better. When it comes to networking yourself, more is definitely more!

9. Find A Mentor Or Sponsor To Support You: Mentoring can be a great support solution to women who feel they may be impacted by Tiara Syndrome. A mentor can be an indispensable sounding board to discuss your ambitions and visions for the future and ways to gain the confidence to achieve them. A mentor or sponsor can champion you to others when it comes to career progression.

10. Up-skill Yourself: Do short courses, shadow others and offer to support other departments. It shows you have initiative but most importantly that you are ready for new challenges and responsibilities; putting you on the map when it comes to promotions and in a good position to re-evaluate your salary.

Disclaimer: We are very happy for you to reproduce this article for your own personal use, blog, newsletter or website. All we ask is that you do not modify the content and that you add the following message and link to the bottom of the article. This article is reproduced with the permission of Jane Lowe, Founder and Creator of The Great Women's Academy. To find out more please visit www.thegreatwomensacademy.co.uk 

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“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." - Alice Walker

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