Yes, Kamala Harris, has entered the hallowed portals of history by becoming he first female Vice President of the United States. And you can definitely name a few more women corporate leaders who have got to the summit in their careers. Surely a cause for celebration! However, for millennial women working in male-dominated sectors where the boys’ club is still a thing, a workplace free of gender bias can feel like a pipe dream.
It’s also true that, over the last 40 years, we’ve witnessed a steady growth in the number of women joining male-dominated STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and math) — another significant achievement to be proud of. Yet, being a woman in a male-dominated workplace can be challenging. Here are some tips for survival and success.
Because you are in the minority, you may be hesitant to express your thoughts, opinions, or preferences. Instead of being silent, speak up and don’t be afraid to be heard. Otherwise, you will go unnoticed, making it difficult for not just your coworkers but also your bosses to remember you. This does not imply that you must be impolite. When projects are assigned, it just involves expressing your opinions, discussing your ideas, and expressing your preferences.
Don’t be afraid to ask for what you Deserve
When you’re ready for a raise or promotion, chances are you’ll be asking a male employer and this might be intimidating. However, if you’ve been with a company for a while and are clearly regarded as a rising leader, don’t be shy. Make your expectations clear and explain why they should be met. Most employers will not grant you a raise or the position you want unless you seek it with authority. Your manager can’t dispute with the facts of your performance and leadership, so spend the time preparing talking points for those areas. The more data you have, the higher your chances of winning the fight.
Trust your Skills
Remember that you are here because you have the knowledge and abilities to execute your job. Some of your coworkers may have more years of experience than you, while others may be at the same level as you. There is no reason to mistrust your abilities as long as you continue to learn and hone your craft.
Take on a position of Leadership
To be regarded a leader in your office, you do not need to hold a leadership title. Find a leadership role in which you can shine, whether it’s heading up a big initiative, solving problems and resolving conflict, or making cool decisions in a crisis, and push yourself to be the go-to person for those scenarios.
Find a Mentor and Be a Mentor
Finding a mentor is one of the best methods to get ahead. Begin working on developing a professional relationship with your manager and other top leaders in your organisation. Don’t be scared to seek their guidance and learn as much as you can from them. As you seek a mentor, you should also serve as a mentor to others, particularly women in your office, by assisting them in reaching their goals.
Build Strong Relationships with Everyone
It’s typical for guys to have a beer after work. So why don’t you join them? While they may be afraid to invite you at first, there is no rule that says you cannot take the first step. Ask them if they want to get a drink or something to eat after work; chances are they will enthusiastically accept the invitation and will be more likely to request you to join them in the future.
Avoid getting easily Offended
When it comes to talking with friends and coworkers, some guys tend to have less of a filter, especially if the two overlap. If you are easily offended, they will be less likely to act normally around you, making you feel even more isolated. While certain behaviours and statements are never acceptable, coworkers’ genuine sense of humour and language should be appreciated.
Handle conflict with Positivity
Sometimes it is impossible to avoid a conflict. Instead of dwelling on who is right and who is wrong, stay positive and figure out how to move past the problem. Avoid attacking your coworkers while also refusing to allow them to attack you or intimidate you into backing down simply because you are outnumbered.
Never stop Learning
Finally, keep honing your craft and honing your skills. This will not only help you become a master of your craft, but it will also boost your confidence and open up new opportunities in your industry.
Striving and succeeding in a male-dominated industry is extremely difficult, but it is not impossible. Never accept less and keep pushing for what you want to achieve. Attempt to defy stereotypes and maintain a positive attitude throughout your journey. Women are now able to run for government offices, lead multinational corporations, and even invent new technologies. Despite their achievements, women face challenges in some traditionally male-dominated industries. It is up to the women to band together and solve these problems as one.