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Could Tiara Syndrome Be Capsizing Your Career?

We know what you’re thinking: yet another item to add to the lexicon of workplace-related terms you need to know about. But this one has special resonance for women in the workplace.

Tiara syndrome was originally coined by Carol Frohlinger and Deborah Kolb, the founders of Negotiating Women, Inc, and the idea was reinvigorated by Sheryl Sandberg in her book Lean In. But what does it mean? Basically, it’s all about how women in particular often feel that if they put their head down, do the work, get everything done and execute tasks flawlessly, they will be rewarded. In other words, they’ll be crowned with a tiara of success.

For Dell Technologies’ education services director Lorna Watson, it’s an all-too familiar feeling, and one she discussed at a talk at the recent Women in Business and Tech conference in London.

“It’s very common for women to work really hard, and believe because you’re working really hard, somebody’s going to notice you worked hard and they’re going to say, ‘well done, here’s a pay rise. Here’s a new job’, and we patiently wait for that, and that’s what I was doing,” she said of a promotion she was expecting.

As Watson – and countless others have discovered – work doesn’t work like that. In fact, it is absolutely to your benefit to speak up, especially now that work is much more of a mix of hybrid and remote styles and facetime with managers is limited. Talking about your wins and successes gives you visibility not only among your own team, it also helps to increase your influence as people take note of what you can do. That then enhances your credibility as a professional and builds your social capital within the business.

Watson learned this lesson. “I sat there patiently waiting and it didn’t happen,” she said. In her case, taking matters into her own hands was the solution. “I did something I wouldn’t normally do. I asked my manager to give me the role of someone who was leaving, and I got the job. And I made that happen much quicker than it would have happened otherwise, because I asked the question,” she said.

“You have to have the courage to ask the question. If you get tied up with these ideas of ‘when is somebody going to recognise me’, eventually, all this noise in your mind tells you that you’re not quite good enough, and you won’t ask those questions. So you have to put yourself out there, you have to take some risks.”

So, to command respect, get what you want and accelerate your career, give up the idea of tiara syndrome and start speaking up to achieve your career goals. If a new job seems more appealing to you, then we’re looking at three fresh roles below. And of course, there are plenty more to discover on the Fintech Times Job Board too.

Treasury Compliance Manager, Monzo, London

Monzo wants ​​to build a bank with everyone, for everyone and is now looking for a Treasury Compliance Manager to join and be responsible for interpreting and applying prudential regulatory requirements, working on projects and submissions relating to these and collaborating with teams across the bank. You will be providing cohesive, effective oversight and challenge for regulatory capital and liquidity resource/requirements rule interpretations and regulatory reporting (COREP, FINREP, PRA/FCA Returns). There will also be opportunities to support the broader prudential risk team on initiatives for ICAAP, ILAAP, recovery planning, resolution and SWDP. Get the full job description.

Head of EMEA Fixed Income Index Product, Bloomberg, London

Bloomberg is looking to hire a Head of EMEA Product Management for its market leading fixed income index business. You’ll be managing an established and highly motivated index product team and you will focus on the governance, construction, support and commercialisation of fixed income indices, product positioning, and helping drive the commercial success of the business. You’ll need to have a knowledge of fixed income data (e.g. asset classes, analytics and classifications), fixed income markets and the fixed income index industry, an understanding of day-to-day governance determinations on index events and the ability to develop thorough, integrated, commercially sound product plans. Get more information here.

Hedge Accountant Specialist, Starling Bank, London

Starling Bank is looking for a new Hedge Accountant Specialist to join its growing finance team. You will need previous demonstrable experience of hedge accounting in a banking environment, including validating hedge accounting models, interpreting results and advising on the monthly accounting output. Reporting to the head of group statutory reporting, you’ll be the main point of contact for hedge accounting matters and will be responsible for preparing and maintaining all IAS 39 hedging documentation, and the maintenance and update of all hedge accounting policies. If you like the sound of the job, you can apply here.

For more great roles that will make you want to move, check out the Fintech Times Job Board.


  • Kirstie works for our job board partner, Jobbio. Based in Dublin, she has been a writer and editor across print and digital platforms for over 15 years.

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