How to Succeed in Male-Dominated Industries

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.

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Dealing with Workplace Harassment

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Workplace harassment and office bullying are unfortunately common incidents these days. It refers to any repeated, intentional behaviour directed at an employee that is intended to degrade, humiliate, embarrass, or otherwise undermine their performance. It can come from colleagues, supervisors, or management, and is a real problem for workers at all levels. It’s no joke. By learning to recognize and address workplace bullying behaviour, you can help to create a healthier, more productive environment for yourself and your colleagues.

What women can do

  • Communicate your disapproval – If you can avoid the colleague who makes you uncomfortable, do so. If you have to work in close proximity to him, avoid being alone with him and tell him to stop his specific behaviour. If the person has sent you a joke through an email or SMS, reply through email or SMS when asking him to stop.
  • Keep a record – If your colleague isn’t getting the message, prepare to report him. Gather evidence to substantiate your claims. ‘Note down the date, time and details of each incident. Save any emails or text messages that contain inappropriate language. Try to use your mobile phone recorder to discreetly record his remarks.
  • Find a friend to share this information – Share the situation with a colleague you trust in the office. She may be able to keep a watchful eye on the situation. But be picky about who you share this information with, and ensure that this person is trustworthy. A senior colleague or mentor who carries more weight in the organisation would be ideal.
  • Formal complaint – If the above doesn’t work, make a formal complaint to senior members of the organisation, with whatever evidence or notes you have. Make the complaint in writing and keep a copy. Remember an oral complaint can be hushed up. Often women don’t report sexual harassment for fear they might lose their jobs, but unless you are willing to take action, your problem will persist.
  • Contact EEOC – If your complaint does not result in your supervisor or senior manager taking action, you can file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which investigates sexual harassment incidents in the workplace. Inform the EEOC of your employer’s name, the name of the offender and the details surrounding the incidents.
  • File a lawsuit – After you file a complaint with the EEOC, you can possibly file a lawsuit. You can seek monetary damages, or try to get your job back if your employer fired you due to the incidents. If you plan to file a lawsuit, you should seek legal representation from an attorney who handles sexual harassment cases.

Tech Tools for Small Businesses

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Starting a new business can be tough, as obstructions you never imagined crop up. Limited time, manpower, and budgets can all be a factor as the workload starts to pile up and the bills come rolling in. With the right tools, small businesses can reach their potential. Below is a list of tools that small business owners can utilize.

1. For organization and productivity –

    • Google Drive – lets you store and access your files anywhere–on the web, on your hard drive, or on the go.
    • Trello – Visual project management system
    • Expensify – financial services startup that provides an online expense management service for customers worldwide.
    • Evernote – A suite of software and services that allow users to capture, organize, and find information across multiple platforms.

2. Cloud storage –

      • Dropbox – Provides a home for users’ most-important information.
      • Google Drive – lets you store and access your files anywhere — on the Web, on your hard drive, or on the go.
      • Apple’s iCloud – a mobile- and Web-based application that enables its users to store their information.
      • Microsoft OneDrive – A storage application that enables users to store and share photos, videos, documents, and more.

3. CRM tools –

  • Salesforce – A global cloud computing company that develops CRM solutions and provides business software on a subscription basis.
  • Act! – To organize customer details, increase productivity, and drive results.
  • SugarCRM – enables businesses to create extraordinary customer relationships with the most innovative CRM solution in the market.

4. Email marketing/marketing automation –

  • MailChimp – an email marketing service that helps businesses with newsletters, automated messages, and targeted campaigns.
  • Constant Contact – provides email, social media, and event marketing tools to help small businesses grow their customer base.
  • Emfluence – lets you create, deploy, and track multi-channel online marketing campaigns from one place.
  • InfusionSoft – provides sales and marketing automation software for small businesses that combines CRM, email marketing, and e-commerce.

5. Social media and content tools –

  • TweetDeck – A Twitter tool for real-time tracking, organizing, and engaging on Web and mobile devices.
  • Sprout Social – provides a platform for businesses to manage social media engagement, publishing, and analytics.
  • Buffer App – helps users share social media content by scheduling online posts throughout the day.

Turn Your Expertise into a Business

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Subject matter specialization is an important skill set to call someone an expert in something. If you are an expert in something and you want to convert it in to business, you need to be accepted for your expertise. People need to see you in action. They need to see results. And, people should decide to buy the product or service you are willing to create out of your expertise. You need to set a plan of action. And, as always it all starts with a well-planned business strategy.

Do you know enough?
You have an expertise and want to start a business. Do you know enough about the industry? With industry background and know-how, you’ll be ahead of the curve. If you have a great idea, but aren’t familiar enough with the field to get started, use your network, speak with people who’ve started businesses in your industry to help you get up to speed quickly.

Surround yourself with people who share your idea
Hire people who share similar interests, if not passion! You can expect long work hours and hard days in the beginning, so personal drive and similar values with your colleagues will take you through initial turbulence.

Business Funds
You need funds. Smart fund allocation and streamlined spending is crucial for any business process. In reality, any kind of skill set can be streamlined to produce regular profits. While quantity matters a great deal to produce regular profits in any business, quality is crucial to attract regular and loyal customers to your service. Successful businesses never compromise on quality.

Time
Quality is achieved by investing the required amount of time. You will never achieve anything by rushing. Consistent and scheduled work culture is crucial for the success of any business process. Overworking and under working are both harmful for any kind of business. Overworking can lead to attitude saturation and eventual productivity mess up. Under working can kill profits.

Easy ways to turn your expertise into a business:

  • Consultancy services – If you have vast know-how and skills in a particular field, you can be paid lucratively by sharing your expertise with others.
  • Start a blog – If you have specialized knowledge about a particular topic, you can start a blog or a website on that subject. You can join affiliate programs or use advertisements to earn money from your blog/ website.
  • Teach what you know – If you have vast knowledge about a particular topic, you can offer lessons at a fee. You can begin by teaching at seminars or hire yourself out as a tutor.

Turning your expertise into a successful business not only allows you to be profitable while doing something you love; it helps set you up for lasting success. Most importantly, passion is central to making decisions that are in the long-term interest of the customer and the company, which will help you, establish sustainability and longevity for your brand.

What’s In a Name?

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Creativity is the essence of the tech world and it is evident even with the names of tech companies. There is a story behind the names of most of the companies.

Here’s a look how some of these well-known tech giants got their names:

  • Apple – Steve Jobs liked apples a lot. The other reason he named his company ‘Apple’ was that “Apple” was ahead of “Atari” in the phonebook and he used to work at Atari.
  • Amazon – Bezos wanted his book retail site to be so quick and easy that it seemed like magic. The site went online in 1995 with the name of Amazon, taken from the Amazon River for being the biggest river. Clearly, Bezos had big ambitions right from the start.
  • Google – Google took its name from a deliberate misspelling of Googol, the word that represents 10^100, or a 1 followed by 100 zeroes. Why this? Simply because founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page wanted to convey the huge amount of data they intended to make available.
  • Microsoft – The company was officially established in April 1975, with the name coming from a combination of “microprocessor” and “software” – which is fitting given that they were creating software for the Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems’s (MITS) Altair 8800.
  • Oracle – This name started as the code for a project that co-founders Larry Ellison and Bob Oats worked on for the CIA. It was a database that was supposed to be able to answer any question about anything.
  • Mozilla – In 1994, when a team at Netscape sat around to think of names for a new browser to take on NCSA’s Mosaic browser, what they were looking for was something that would crush the competition. What they looked to was Godzilla. Combining Mosaic with the movie monster brings you to the current day name of Mozilla.
  • Asus – The name is derived from the mythological Greek winged horse Pegasus. According to the company’s own explanation it embodies the strength, purity, and adventurous spirit of this fantastic creature, and soars to new heights with each new product it creates.
  • Lenovo – The word is a combination of Le and Novo, meaning new in Latin.
  • Skype – It’s a combination of “sky” and “peer-to-peer”, shortened to skyper. The name ‘Skyper’ was already in use, so the new name became ‘Skype’.
  • Twitter – Founders first thought of ‘twitch’. But ‘twitch’ was not a good product name because it doesn’t bring up the right imagery. So, they looked up dictionary and found ‘twitter’. The definition was ‘a short burst of inconsequential information,’ and ‘chirps from birds.’ And that’s exactly what the product was.
  • eBay – The website started out as “AuctionWeb,” a part of the personal website of former Apple software engineer Pierre Omidyar. The website took off, and Mr. Omidyar decided to spin it off into its own entity and name it afterhis consulting firm, Echo Bay Technology Group. When the domain name echobay.com was taken, he switched it to ebay.com.
  • Verizon – According to Verizon’s corporate history, the name is a combination of the Latin words “veritas” and “horizon.” Veritas refers to truth and reliability, while horizon signifies forward-looking and visionary.
  • Blackberry – This name was coined in 1999 because the keys on the device resembled the drupelets on the fruit.

Why Women Don’t Start Business?

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report, only seven women start businesses for every ten men. There is a big “confidence gap” between male and female entrepreneurs.

Here are the main reasons why women hesitate to start their own businesses:

  • Women are less confident

    About three-quarters of both male and female entrepreneurs start businesses to pursue an opportunity, but men show more positive perceptions about opportunities and their own capabilities, as well as lower fear of failure. Women are inclined to take fewer risks.

  • Women use their savings, men get loans

    On an average, women start their businesses with a median amount of $8,000; men had $30,000. Women were also more likely to use their own cash or borrow from family members, while men got bank loans. With fewer funds to start a business, women have little or no scope for taking necessary steps.

  • Men are more likely to know other entrepreneurs

    It seems contrary to the general norm of women as social connectors and men as isolated individualists, but men are more likely to have robust professional networks when starting their businesses. They were also more likely to already know someone who had branched out on his own, providing them with a valuable source of information.

  • Content with life

    Women are content to live their lives peacefully, calmly without any stress brought about by starting a business.  For most of the women, money is not a motivator. And if it is, they feel that they can get it from their jobs working within an organization, instead of starting a new venture.

  • Responsibility of managing family

    Women always have to struggle to balance career and families. Starting a business involves a lot of dedication. Women feel they cannot devote that much time while handling household responsibilities.

How To Get Hired in Silicon Valley?

Your resume is perfect, you are qualified, you have applied to hundreds of jobs in Silicon Valley, and yet you are not getting hired, right? Well, if this is your problem, then you are not alone.

If you want to fulfill your dream of being an employee of the most sought after region for techies, here are tips:

  • The easiest way to open yourself doors of top tech companies in the Silicon Valley is to enroll in some of the graduate schools. San Jose State University, UC, Berkeley, Stanford, San Francisco State University are among the top universities in the US from where the tech talent is placed by the hottest companies. So, if you have degree from one of these schools, you are in demand!

  • Most of the candidates want work for Google, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. But the reality is for every open position, they get around 250 applications. The competition is fierce for getting into these companies. So, you need to look beyond these companies. Consider start-ups which have started receiving funding. You can contact them directly and send them your resume. Remember, start-ups are not getting 250 resumes for every open position they have.

  • Make your resume tells the recruiter only the important points – your contact information, education and work experience. Don’t include your other interests, hobbies in resume. Resume should have action verbs like “Designed”, “Developed”, “Created”, “Sold” to describe what you have done so far that could benefit his/her company.

  • Network with the people who are already working there. Ask them how they got the job, which skill sets are in demand in their companies, hiring process etc. Most of the times it is easier to get interview calls if you apply through employee referrals.

  • When you go for an interview, show your passion for that company. The interviewer should see your excitement to work there.

  • Generally, Silicon Valley companies don’t hire management trainees. They want their employees to be productive right after they join. This doesn’t mean you have to have at least 5 years of experience to get hired. But, during interview you have to show your ability to grasp things quickly and get started immediately. You cannot expect a long term training program before you start contributing here.

  • Regularly browse through the job search sites such as TheGongzuo.com to know what the Silicon Valley tech companies are looking for. You get a fair idea about which skills to pickup to increase the probability of getting hired.