Episode No. 128
  •  December 21, 2023

Unmasking the Workplace

The Hidden Truths We Keep

Unmasking the truth: In this episode of Crina and Kirsten Get to Work, they dive deep into the importance of authenticity in the workplace. However, a shocking study reveals that more than 3 in 5 workers are hiding something about their identity from their employer, with fear of backlash and career advancement concerns being the main reasons. So, to reveal or not to reveal? That is the question.


Authenticity is about being genuine, your original self – and there is also an element of being worthy of acceptance.  Authenticity does not mean you need to share your life story or connect with everyone on a deep personal level or share every unfiltered thought or opinion you have.  We know from the research that being authentic makes all things work better – engagement, performance, innovation, retention, belonging – just all of it.  And according to the Harvard Business Review – it makes us more ethical. Why Authentic Workplaces Are More Ethical (hbr.org)

And, we are still hiding things at work.  

A recent study by JobSage found more than 3 in 5 workers said that they are currently hiding at least one thing about their identity from their employer and 64% said that they’ve experienced backlash after revealing something about themselves, most often being treated unkindly or ignored completely.  What do people hide?  The top three are political views, information about their families, information about their own mental health.  JobSage reported that employees hide things about themselves to avoid making people uncomfortable (49%), avoid being stereotyped (43%) and, understandably, out of fear that revelation might impact their career advancement (41%).  Interestingly, men and women are almost equally likely to be hiding something from their employer (66% and 62%, respectively), but for slightly different reasons. While men don’t want to make people uncomfortable, women are more concerned about being stereotyped.  A shocking 4 out of 5 employees have repressed some aspect of their identity for the sake of their career.

Some of this hiding is wise and protective.  But according to Dorie Clark, author of Stand Out, there are impacts to hiding.  It consumes energy, it can create the loss of confidence and increased fear, career stagnation and isolation, as well as stifling creativity.    The Real Dangers of Hiding Our Whole Selves at Work: An Interview with Dorie Clark – Navalent

Listeners, you are precious creatures – not everyone gets your preciousness – use your energy wisely – whether you reveal or not.  


Authenticity at Work: Everything You Need to Know (betterup.com)

Re-thinking authenticity at work | LSE Business Review