Is Tiara Syndrome Crushing Your Beauty Career?

Aoibhinn Mc Bride describes ‘Tiara Syndrome’, and discusses what we’re getting wrong when it comes to career progression.

You work hard, always strive to do your best, help others in the workplace and meet your targets without fail, yet your diligence doesn’t seem to be paying off and you feel like your employer doesn’t appreciate you…

Welcome to Tiara Syndrome, the misguided misconception that keeping your head down and getting on with the job in hand to the best of your ability will result in you being rewarded automatically.

Good girl complex

Originally coined by Carol Frohlinger and Deborah Kolb, the founders of Negotiating Women, Inc. and authors of Her Place at the Table: A Woman’s Guide to Negotiating Five Key Challenges to Leadership, to describe how many women approach salary negotiations and pay rises.

It also goes hand-in-hand with the “good girl complex”, AKA the internalised social behaviour of always wanting to be liked and therefore not speaking up, something that most women have been subconsciously adopting and adapting to since early childhood.

Tiara Syndrome is also closely aligned to imposter syndrome (the catch-all phrase for feelings of professional self-doubt which disproportionately affects high-achievers, particularly women, who find it difficult to assimilate their achievements), something that 45% of Australian workers have experienced, according to Asana’s recent Anatomy of Work Global Index report.

How to overcome it

Nobody is going to pat you on your tiara-clad head if you don’t take assertive action, so get the recognition ball rolling by instigating a review or meeting with your manager to propose a detailed professional development plan.

Working with your manager, identify clear objectives, goals and targets. This way you can focus on a series of specific achievements within a realistic timeframe (six months is a good place to start) that can then be used to bolster your bargaining power when it comes to getting a promotion or a raise in the future. It’s also important to ask for constructive criticism on how you can do things better as without this, realising your goals may prove to be more difficult.

You can also use this meeting as an opportunity to ask your manager if they can take on more of a mentoring role, or if a more senior member of the team could assume this responsibility instead. According to a study by global leadership firm DDI, 67% of women rated mentorship as very important in their career, however 63% of women have never had a formal mentor because they haven’t asked for one, or are concerned asking for one might not be well received.

As the adage goes, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. If all else fails, it could be time to look for a new role in a company that supports its employees in the ways outlined above. We’ve selected three great roles that are currently hiring or check out the Professional Beauty Job Board for more opportunities.

DC Team Leader – Day Shift, Mecca, VIC

Working on a Monday to Friday roaster, this DC Team Leader – Day Shift role oversees the day-to-day tasks of small sub-departmental teams and is the daily point of contact for Mecca team members, troubleshooting task issues, training new team members, and overseeing the daily resource allocation against daily volume projections. Team leaders attend daily operational meetings within their respective departmental zones, and other key responsibilities include ensuring team members follow policies, protocols, and operational requirements while fostering a team culture which represents the company’s values. Apply here.

Executive, Visual Merchandising, Sephora, Sydney

Partnering closely with the merchandising, planning and retail teams, this Executive, Visual Merchandising role works closely with the VM team to seamlessly plan, execute, and bring to life all thematic activations across stores in Australia and New Zealand, which also includes supporting new store rollouts and refurbs. The ideal candidate will have proven and demonstrated VM experience in a multi-brand and multi-category retail environment, experience with cultivating cross functional relationships, experience working with external stakeholders and confidence in setting and managing budgets. Find out more here.

Retail Sales Assistant (Demonstrator), Dyson, WA

Working across multiple locations in Western Australia, the successful Retail Sales Assistant (Demonstrator) candidate will be based in one of Dyson’s retail partner stores such as Harvey Norman, The Good Guys or Myer. You’ll be responsible for showcasing the Dyson range of products in all categories and while this is a highly autonomous role, you will be provided with ongoing training and support from the dedicated team of regional managers and your peers. You will be assigned a home store location to ensure you can integrate yourself within the store team. See the full job spec here.

Looking for a new role?
Check out the Professional Beauty Job Board for beauty jobs all across Australia

This article was produced in partnership with Jobbio.

Read the current issue of our digital magazine here:

Have an idea for a story or want to see a topic covered on our site and in our pages? Get in touch at

Back to top