Research careers – the danger of self-editing – Cancer Research UK

I didn’t know I did this, but recently I’ve become aware that I tend to change things about myself that I don’t think are valued.

It seems to happen particularly when I am in a new environment or situation, just to make sure I ‘fit in’. For example, I am very conscious about my accent – I am Dutch, but I always strive to sound as English as I can. Its not that people find it hard to understand me – but, in my mind, I feel that it sounds more credible and therefore, people will take me more seriously.

Maybe that sounds strange, but I was glad to hear from an expert recently that I don’t appear to be the only one. During our annual Women of Influence meeting, allyship expert, Suzy Levy, explained that this is a phenomenon called ‘editing’. Apparently, we all do it, but some more than others. Marginalised groups, for example, are more likely to self-edit than others to assimilate to the norm… or what is perceived as the norm.

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