Joyce Roche Brainfood March 12, 2014 Dillard University

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Joyce Roché

Joyce Roché uses the term "impostor syndrome," a feeling of being a fraud and not deserving ones success to describe what she experienced during her climb up the professional ladder.  In her book The Empress Has No Clothes: Conquering Self-Doubt to Embrace Success(Berrett-Koehler, 2013), written with Alexander Kopelman, Roché shares her own lifelong struggle with impostor syndrome and uses her own experiences and those of other high-achieving leaders who have suffered from impostor syndrome to offer advice and coping strategies.

Roché, who serves as secretary of the Park Place Outreach Board of Directors, retired as CEO of Girls, Inc., a 145-year-old nonprofit organization that inspires girls to be strong, smart and bold. She previously served as COO and president of Carson Products Company, now part of L’Oreal, and was the first female African-American vice president of Avon Products, where she oversaw global marketing.

Roche has been featured in USA Today and the Huffington Post, and she appeared on a segment on Today New York.

Each chapter of Roché’s book includes first-person accounts by well-known leaders, including BET Network Chairman Debra Lee and former General Motors Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre, who have struggled with impostor syndrome. Throughout the book, readers learn the difference between insecurity and impostor syndrome, common behavioral symptoms of impostor syndrome and strategies for overcoming it. Roché also examines the reasons why women, young professionals, the economically disadvantaged and minorities are especially susceptible to impostor syndrome.

To learn more about impostor syndrome and to take a quiz to find out whether you suffer from it, visit

About Joyce Roché
Joyce Roché has been a trailblazer in the corporate world for 25 years. She recently retired as CEO of Girls Inc., the nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.

Prior to joining Girls Inc., Roché served as COO and president of Carson Products Company, now part of L’Oreal. At Avon Products, she broke new ground, becoming Avon’s first African American female vice president, the first African American vice president of marketing, and the company’s first vice president of global marketing.

Roché has received widespread acclaim for her achievements in the business world. In 1991 and 1994 respectively, Black Enterprise named Roché one of the “21 Women of Power and Influence in Corporate America” and one of the “40 Most Powerful Black Executives.”

Business Week selected her as one of the “Top Managers to Watch.” In 2006, she received Black Enterprise magazine’s Legacy Award during the Women of Power Summit. In 2007, Columbia University gave her the Distinguished Alumna Award for Columbia University Women in Business.

Roché holds an MBA from Columbia University and currently sits on the boards of AT&T, Macy’s, Tupperware Brands, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, and the Association of Governing Boards. She chairs the board of trustees for Dillard University, her undergraduate alma mater.