The Empress Has No Clothes
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More About This Title The Empress Has No Clothes


You Deserve Your Success!

Joyce Roché rose from humble circumstances to earn an Ivy League MBA and become the first female African-American vice president of Avon, president of a leading hair care company, and CEO of the national nonprofit Girls Inc. But despite these accomplishments, she felt like a fraud. She worked more and more, had less and less of a personal life, and was never able to enjoy her success.

In this deeply personal memoir, Roché shares her lifelong struggle with what she now recognizes as “the impostor syndrome,” a condition that plagues successful people in all walks of life. Based on her own experiences and those of top executives from organizations such as Eileen Fisher, Citigroup, BET, Pepsi, and Tupperware, she offers practical advice and valuable coping strategies that can help you embrace your own worth and live a life of joy, zest, and fulfillment.


Joyce M. Roché currently sits on the boards of four Fortune 500 companies as well as several nonprofits. She received the Legacy Award at the 2006 Women of Power Summit of Black Enterprise Magazine.


Foreword by Ed Whitacer Jr, former Chairman and CEO, General Motors Co.

Chapter One: Breaking the Silence
--Interview with Eileen Fisher, Chief Creative Officer of EILEEN FISHER

Chapter Two:  You Are Not What You Wear
--Interview with Janice Warner, former Managing Director of Citigroup

Chapter Three: What if You Have No Silver Spoon
--Interview with Rick Goings, Chairman and CEO, Tupperware

Chapter Four: Gender Matters
--Interview with Anne Szostak, President and CEO of Szostak Partners

Chapter Five: What Color IS your Parachute?
--Interview with Debra Lee, Chairman and CEO of BET Holdings

Chapter Six: But You Are So Young
--Interview with Dr. Katherine Windsor, Head of School,, Miss Porter's School

Chapter Seven: Climbing the Ladder
--Interview with Paula Banks Jones, SVP PepsiCo

Chapter Eight: What If the Naysayers Are Right?
--Interview with Val Ackerman, Founding President, WNBA

Chapter Nine: The Weight of the World
--Interview with Yvonne Jackson, President, Beecher Jackson

Chapter Ten: What Did You Do to Get Here?
--Interview with Susan Buffett, Chairman, The Sherwood Foundation

Chapter Eleven: Listen to Your Heart
--Interview with Mary Wagner, SVP, Starbucks

Chapter Twelve: Joy, Zest, and Power
--Interview with Sandra Timmons, President, A Better Chance, Inc.


Appendix: Do You Feel Like an Impostor?


Despite her impressive career, Roché, former CEO of Girls Inc. and the first African-American vice-president of Avon Products, turns out to be an overachiever plagued by self-doubt. She refers to this condition, common to many executives, as “impostor syndrome.” She shares stories from her own and others’ lives (including interviews with BET Networks chairman Debra Lee, and Ed Whitacre, former chairman and CEO of GM) to show that these feelings are not unique and to help readers, especially women and minorities, embrace their successes. She encourages readers to understand their fear, clarify values, and build connections with those who share those values, and to get centered in oneself. While Roché focuses on “imposter syndrome” in the workplace, her subtle lessons are equally helpful outside the office. She provides a useful “Imposter Phenomenon Test” that is readily applicable to both work and personal life. Because Roché is so adept at using experience as a model and teaching tool, her advice is a much softer sell, and more convincing and relatable, than that which is provided by experts in most career guides. Readers will find Roché’s lessons valuable on both personal and professional fronts. (June)
—Publisher's Weekly

Joyce M. Roché opens The Empress Has No Clothes with several key questions from Dr. Pauline Rose Clance’s Imposter Test, as in “Sometimes I’m afraid others will discover how much knowledge or ability I really lack” (answer with degrees of not all true to very true). If “very true” resonates with you, then this is your book.The accomplished Roché weaves her stellar education and accomplishments in the corporate world in this memoir-based book while prefacing the underlying issues so many readers, especially women, experience as they try to move upward in their careers. Issues such as: race, self-doubt, age, “Girl in a Man’s World,” more to prove, and listening to your heart are addressed by Roché as she shares her experience, strength, and hope. Every reader will glean encouragement from the simple, down-to-earth, hard-working tone of The Empress Has No Clothes and begin to take bigger steps forward to embrace the success they deserve.
—Allyson Gracie, Wellness Specialist, Pilates & Yoga Instructor, Retailing Insight

“The impostor syndrome is all too common among highly successful people—and until now a closely guarded secret! Joyce Roché’s insights will make success at each stage of our life and career a more joyful experience for those of us—such as me—who have felt this insecurity.”
—Rick Goings, Chairman and CEO, Tupperware Brands Corporation

“Whether you are just starting your career or are nearing its pinnacle, this book will do more than help you navigate effectively; it will help you enjoy the journey.”
—Earl “Butch” Graves Jr., President and CEO, Black Enterprise

“This is a book that is so needed by women—especially younger women. [It] offers hope, guidance, and gentle mentorship to all of us who have ever confronted the fear of not measuring up.”
—Rosina L. Racioppi, President and CEO, Women Unlimited, Inc.

“Silence and isolation are the hallmarks of the impostor syndrome. Joyce’s courage in speaking out will be tremendously helpful to all those who have ever experienced these feelings by letting them know that they are not alone.”
—Pauline Rose Clance, PhD, psychotherapist who, with Suzanne Imes, PhD, first identified the impostor syndrome