Although women in the workplace have come on in leaps and bounds since the dark days of the past, let’s face it – there is still a lot of work to do. Sadly, there are still plenty of examples sectors of employment that gear toward men. And if you’re the kind of girl that loves technology, engineering, or just straight leadership in any industry, it’s a tough world out there right now. But you can never give up. Just because something isn’t right doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. Here’s how to excel in a male-dominated industry and make way for change for gender equality. Yes, you can survive – and, indeed, thrive. Let’s get started with the basics.
Be really good at what you do
In male-dominated industries, you are going to face more than just standard competition. You’ll probably encounter a certain amount of sexism, too – whether it’s conscious or not, you often find that jobs go to the boys. The only way to make a strong impression is to be exceptional at what you do, in more areas than you might think. Let’s say you want to get into engineering. An engineering management Masters might be useful for you to prove you have business knowledge, as well as technical acumen, and can help you stand out from the crowd. Ultimately, you have to be the best you can possibly be.
Put yourself out there
Women tend to think a lot more about consequences than men, and you will often see this play out in the workplace. A lot of men, for example, will be happy to stand up, present in front of a crowd, and take risks when it comes to putting themselves out there. A lot of women, however, can worry about the way they portray themselves. At the end of the day, it’s not personal – it’s only business. And in understanding this fact, you will find yourself handling the pressures of advanced roles with a lot more ease than before. Turn that male-dominated industry on its head.
Cut to the chase
We all know that the average woman is a better communicator than the average man regarding our personal lives. But sometimes, this fact can go against you in a male-dominated business environment. Most men like to be as brief as possible when communicating anything. It’s important to be flexible, and learn how to talk in a similar language.
Be strong in a male-dominated industry
Some women might feel they have to bend over backwards to excel in a male-dominated industry. But the truth is that doing this will cause you more problems than are worth your while. Say ‘yes’ to the projects you can manage. And always put yourself forward for anything that may help strengthen your reputation. But don’t become the woman that always says ‘yes’ to everything. Knowing when to say no – when you don’t have the time to help – is vital to establish yourself as a serious professional.
Have a role model
Finally, it can be tough to excel in a male-dominated industry as a woman. But there are plenty of role models out there to inspire you. Find other confident women who have already tasted success, and work out how they made it. Implementing their strategies will help you face – and defeat – your personal challenges.