While the numbers are on the rise, women in math are still a small minority. Here are some resources for how to navigate the world of math.
“I don’t belong here.” “I must have gotten accepted by accident.” “I just got lucky to pass that test.” ” I’m not a real mathematician.” “I’m a fraud.” “Maybe I somehow convinced everyone that I’m smart, but I’m really not.”
Do you relate to any of theses statements? You probably suffer from imposter syndrome. I most certainly suffer from imposter syndrome.
Impostor syndrome is a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. Here is a link to more information about this syndrome.
Here is a GREAT video about imposter syndrome that I highly recommend watching.
Many successful people suffer from imposter syndrome, particularly women in math, especially women of color. It is hard to say exactly why we feel this way, but part of the cause is affirmative action. As a woman, it can be an easy trap to think “I’m just here because they needed to accept x-number of women to the program, not because I actually deserve to be here based on merit.”
Association for Women in Math (AWM)
AWM is a great organization dedicated to promoting the success of women in math. Here is a link to their website.
UCSB has an AWM student chapter for undergraduates. They are a very active group and I highly recommend joining the chapter. I am an active graduate volunteer for this group. Here is a link to their facebook page.
I am a huge believer in the power of fashion. Not only does fashion have the power to transform the way you view yourself, but it has the power to transform how others view you. Women in math have a particularly interesting role as a minority group in a male dominated subject. It is important to maintain one’s own identity and level of femininity without compromising the respect of their male counterparts. I have a blog, How to Dress as a Woman in Math, where I give some tips and ideas for how to balance your fashion femininity in today’s world. However, this blog is currently under construction.