When we talk about women in the workplace, it is not uncommon for us to hear about low ratios of women in fields where men are on top. Even if women are capable of performing well in these fields, they face a lot of challenges and opposition to show what they are capable of.
I know for sure, I was in Telecommunications and IT field for 10 years. A male-dominated industry with majority male management calling the shots.
But, with the growing movement to make workplaces a level field for both male and female, take for instances high profile females in IT like Marissa Mayer, it is a question on how women can work their way up the career ladder.
To help you get started, here are some tips I can share to help women navigate through a male-dominated field:
1. Don’t apologise all the time
Remember, you are not working to apologise to people but to grow in your career. There will be disagreement at work or exchange of ideas in a meeting, don’t go around apologising just because you don’t want to offend somebody or worse, you want to be a crowdpleaser. Having your own opinion is as important as sticking to what you believe.
2. Be hungry for the adventure
If you want to succeed in any field, you have to want the job and take all the opportunities that opens. You never know where it will take you and it may be your key to success! Don’t let your fear or doubts overcome your desire to leap.
3. Believe in your capabilities
Sometimes, it can be difficult to trust yourself when you find yourself challenged at all fronts. Strengthen yourself and believe that you will be able to overcome all the challenges before you. Do not let anyone or anything stop you from your goals. You need to believe in yourself before you can convince someone else to believe in you.
4. Achieve work-life balance
Fields where man usually dominates are very competitive and many are often burnt out because of it. Women would find these fields difficult to work with, especially those with families. However, if you campaign for a work-life balance and policies that would support it, women will be able to advance forward in the field.
5. Stay positive
If you keep telling yourself that you cannot do it and push the same sentiments to your co-workers, you will not be able to advance. Focus on the good things about yourself and strive hard to reach your goals.
Work on your strength to bring out the best in you. Instead of lamenting on the negativity or getting fear / worries eating you away, shift your mindset towards conquering new challenges and learning new things.
6. Be a leader
If you are good with your job and people see you as a good leader, you will find yourself being offered a leadership position. When it happens, do not decline it. If you are not given the position, don’t wait for them to offer it to you.
Take the initiative to take over projects that do not have a leader. Be the person people can approach when it comes to certain projects and issues.
7. Step forward and start your own journey
Finally, if you reach the point that you want to immerse yourself in the field, go for it. It may be scary at first to do because you have to start from the ground up. However, if you make that risk and know what you are passionate about, you can make a difference.
Being in a male-dominated environment doesn’t need to be scary or feared of. In fact, there are a lot of plus points to working with the opposite sex that each other can learned from. I have benefited and enjoyed myself tremendously working and learning alongside with one of the brightest and driven male colleagues.
Are you in a male or female dominated field? Share with us your experiences in the comments below.
For gender-related articles, maybe these posts will let you linger around longer:
How To Eliminate Gender Bias In The Workplace?
Guest Post: 4 Ideal Careers for Fearless Females
Curb The Gender Differences For Our Next Generation
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