Trying to advance in your chosen field can be tough as a woman. Your gender can be even more limiting if you are trying to make a name for yourself within a male dominated sector. It doesn’t matter whether you have chosen the world of academia, a scientific research field, law, medicine or investment banking, the chances are that you will have already encountered a male barrier to your progression. This doesn’t mean that you should settle for your current position and be pleased with your lot. Yes, you may need to work a little harder, you may need to play the promotion game, and you may have a board-full of male voices to contend with, but you can still succeed and thrive. Take a look at this guide to help you break into and flourish within male dominated industries.
The #MeToo movement has gone far beyond the Harvey Weinstein scandal that it originally was borne from. While media circles generated the hashtag and the momentum, all sectors of society globally have taken up the cause. Equality and fairness are at the heart of this cause, and both women and men are taking up the fight. Educating the youth of today about gender equality and the pay gap will allow the next generation to place more emphasis on justice.
For now, you may have to work a little harder to be heard, but the tide is turning, however slowly this may be. When you are in meetings, ensure that you speak up. While this can be daunting in a cacophony of baritones, try and find your moment. When there is a lull, say your piece. And be confident. Lean into the table, speak with your hands and make eye contact. Your confidence will be exuded through your words and body language. Don’t say something for the sake of it, and try and earn that reputation of being listened to. If you are talking, you want everyone else in the room listening.
How often has your boiler broken for you to shout to your other half to call a man out? A man? Why should it be a man? Plenty of women are now choosing to follow their self employment dreams and learn a trade. There are female plumbers, electricians, gas engineers, decorators and tilers. They often find a niche for themselves serving other female clients. It is empowering when women stick together, support one another and fight to be seen within a male dominated industry.
Many women are now choosing to break away from the corporate world to become part of a trade network. All you need is a sound business brain, some funding for your startup, qualifications, some time to check out cheaper vehicles like the Vauxhall van offers and your relevant industry specific equipment. With everything in place, you could be swapping the laptop for the plunger.
You don’t have to be ruthless, devious and underhanded to succeed in business. Sure, you could go down this route but would you be true to yourself. Instead, work hard, be proactive and shine.