Gone are the days when women were concentrated in lower paying service jobs like retail workers and administrative assistants. Now more and more women are holding high level and high paying jobs in previously male dominated industries. To be successful in these industries, women require a lot of joggling especially if they are married and have children to look after.
Here are a few suggestions for women to get ahead in an industry that is known to be male-dominated.
- Make sure your value is known –
One of the main challenges faced by women in the ‘male-dominated’ industries is making their value known. It can be intimidating for some women to play by men’s rules. Women need to play on their strengths and characteristic qualities that are sometime lacking in men. Many women think they need to change when working in a male-dominated environment. But, your unique qualities or working styles can be the catalyst that helps you to be noticed as a person of value.
- Don’t be the ‘Yes’ woman –
In many industries, there is tremendous pressure to work hard and go the extra mile. Women must not feel obligated to say ‘yes’ to anything that doesn’t remotely list under their responsibilities. Agreeing to taking on every project in striving to be a ‘good employee’ will not do any justice to you in the long run. If you don’t learn to say no, you will ultimately hurt both yourself and the company you represent. It is important, however, to stand up for the projects you really want to work on.
- Be Confident –
Having confidence in yourself goes a long way and can get you where you want to be in your career. Being confident, you won’t feel the need to get the ‘approval’ from anyone as women are just as capable of holding certain positions that appear to be reserved for men only. Being a woman, you may be playing more than one role. It is advisable not to allow domestic worries impact upon your confidence and focus at work.
- Be strong and structure oriented –
As a woman,you need to not only prove yourself, but be relatively outspoken about it too – something many women are not comfortable doing. Being structured in your work, organized, technically strong, and ensuring you’re assertive goes a long way to earning the respect and recognition for a job well done.
- Have patience, perseverance and positivity –
Maintaining a positive attitude and focus, together with equal doses of perseverance and patience, will stand you in good stead. One step forward is one step closer to getting ahead.
- Build contacts –
Networking after work is a big part of building contacts in any industry. This is often done in environments that aren’t particularly female-friendly, but breaking into this is a must.
- Motivation and mentorship –
Going it alone up the career ladder is hard. One of the most valuable things is to have a mentor – someone who has succeeded in the system, understands the challenges, and can guide you through some of the peculiarities of the industry, as a result of his/her own experience and lessons learned.A mentor can also push you a little harder than you might push yourself.
Remember, the amazing thing about women is that we’re stubborn individuals who will build strong, supportive networks to help each other grow. Keep a positive attitude and always challenge yourself to learn more. With knowledge and confidence, you can enter any office and show that you’re a valuable addition to the team.