Being a woman in a male-dominated Industry
Most people have grown up with the understanding that entering the workforce as a woman comes with its own set of challenges — lingering sexism, power imbalances, and a gender pay gap are just a few that come to mind. Despite the great advancements made in women’s rights since the 1950’s, in traditionally male-dominated industries such as tech, architecture, finance and construction, things can still be especially tricky.
In a statement issued ahead of Women’s Day in 2018, PricewaterhouseCoopers highlighted that for every 10 employed men, only eight women were employed or actively looking for work. And, of those surveyed, more than half the women said they were sceptical of change. Is this the message we want to send out to our daughters?
This August we’re celebrating Women’s Month with five tips on how you can make your way up the career ladder – even when the gender ration isn’t in your favour:
You have to work harder in a male-dominated business, it’s true. But don’t let that stop you from having an opinion. Instead of being silent, speak up and don’t be afraid to let your voice be heard. This doesn’t mean you have to be rude; it simply means sharing your ideas and expressing your preferences when projects are delegated.
Own your career choice
Women working in a male-dominated industry can have it tough. People may question your ability to do the job or might believe you don’t have the experience to take on a physical project. But it’s surprising how far a little confidence will take you. Be proud of what you do and trust that you can do it well.
Find a mentor and never stop learning
One of the best ways to get ahead is to find a mentor: whether it’s your boss, a colleague or a friend with experience. Pay particular attention to cultivating relationships with the individuals who believe in you and who publicly support you — they are going to be your best advocates and your biggest supporters.
You’re also going to have to keep on top of the news in your area of expertise and in your broader market daily. Being informed will help build your confidence and you’ll be a valuable resource to your teammates.
Nothing generates good will or builds morale among other employees more powerfully than a good attitude. Let your thoughts linger on your past victories, not defeats, and focus on the milestones you’re set to achieve in the future.
Support other women
The most important advice? Remember that times are changing rapidly, and opportunities for women to expand their professional horizons just keep getting better. By supporting and empowering each other, more and more women will be building personal success stories in industries that won’t always be dominated by men.