It’s not a surprise how women, in general, are not encouraged to take on roles that are supposedly known as male-dominated. More often than not, women tend to be underestimated physically. Very few would expect a woman to be capable of more traditional male-dominant activities such as fixing the house or even handling power tools like a hammer, sander or chainsaw. If you are a woman struggling to fit in the male-dominated workforce, here are some useful tips to help you succeed:
1. Have Confidence
If you do not have confidence in yourself, you will not get far in your career, especially when others believe men can do your job better than you. Believe in yourself and your capabilities, no matter how experienced you are. After all, you were hired because the Human Resource Manager or your boss believes in your potential. By being confident, naturally, you will be more assertive and get yourself heard among the rest. Speak up and voice out your opinions and suggestions whenever necessary. That way, those around you will know not to mess with you and respect you not just as a woman but as a regular employee just like them.
2. Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
It is easy to stay in the same position for many years if you hesitate to seek new opportunities just because you are a woman. Based on research, it is much more advantageous since women are known to be equally or even more competent than men. When the time comes where there are new opportunities, but you are too afraid to take them, get rid of the fear, and just go for it! By grabbing these new opportunities, you will grow as a person and open new doors in your career. Gender should not define your skills and strengths.
3. Don’t Be People Pleaser
Women tend to care more about being liked rather than being respected. For instance, when you are constantly using the word “sorry” all the time, people will not take you seriously. It could make you seem weak, and you are more likely to get trampled on than appreciated. It is quite understandable that you want to be the best employee and say yes to every project that is being handed to you. However, if you simply cannot handle the workload, learn to say no for times when it becomes too much to handle. Don’t worry; you won’t damage your reputation in your workplace by declining a specific task or job. It will just be assigned to someone else, and you can continue to do your best with your current tasks without compromising quality.
4. Stand Your Ground
When it comes to being a woman in a male-dominated workplace, it is easy to become a sexual harassment victim. Learn to know the boundaries and draw the line if any of your male colleagues or your bosses crosses that line. Subtle jokes here and there are fine, but if it goes overboard, be sure to stand your ground and report any bad behaviour. Notice the signs if someone is taking advantage of you simply because you are a woman. It’s also common how women are more likely to face sexual harassment than men. If you encounter a situation like this, take necessary action and put an end to it right away.
5. Show Commitment
There is no better way to show how committed you are to the job than to continuously seek improvement and feedback. If you are defensive and think you are right all the time, you will not go far, not just in your workplace but also in life. Employees that are always wanting to improve their skills are more valued compared to those that do not. If you’re going to outshine your other male colleagues, be the employee that is always seeking new knowledge, and gain new skills. If you are goal-oriented, it also helps to show how committed you are to improvement and growth.
6. Be A Team Player
Easy-going employees are always valued over the ones that work best alone. By offering support to your team members and showing your willingness to help them, your superiors will appreciate it. Just because you are a rose among the thorns does not make you any different from the others. Treat everyone equally, and in return, they will respect you as a woman in the male-dominated field. Plus, since women are known to be better listeners, you could also play it to your advantage by offering your opinions and thoughts when it comes to situations whereby empathy is needed. You get the upper hand in these types of situations compared to your male peers, which also helps your role if it is a leadership position.
7. Stay Positive
Nobody likes someone who is a Debbie Downer. There will be times when your regular ‘monthly friend’ comes to visit if you catch the drift. Many men believe that women are more emotional and tend to act on how they are feeling rather than based on the actual situation. This is one of the reasons why women are looked down upon in the workplace as well, especially in leadership roles. Try not to bring a negative vibe to the work environment by letting your emotions control you and maintain an overall positive attitude, even on those days when you are on PMS. Everybody likes someone who creates a positive atmosphere and does not let her mood swings affect the rest of the team.