Excel in a male-dominated work environment

Excel in a male-dominated work environment

As a woman professional, you might often wonder what it takes to succeed in the male-dominated industry. When you are not rewarded in proportion to your talents and contribution to the organization and when men colleagues are found grabbing the chances to professional growth leaving your behind, you will naturally get disturbed and feel abandoned. Also, the lesser you are experienced in the industry, the more vexing it can be to muster your internal resources. Here are a few expert suggestions to succeed in a male-dominated world.

Why this discussion?

Right from well-established engineering companies to the latest technology startups, men are seen to outnumber women in most industries significantly. However, just because male counterparts outnumber you, it is never a signal that you will be sidelined too, and you will not be able to climb up the professional ladder successfully. Adopt some of the strategies adopted by some successful men to advance their careers, and you can move up to a level playing field. Here are a few tips from experts to make you thrive in a male-dominated workplace.

The best career advice for women professionals

Never set your goal to become one of those few women who are the shining stars of a particular industry. On the other hand, nurture your war work skills to become the indispensable expert in your industry domain. Hold on to a standard of excellence you have set for yourself. Put in hours of hard work that can help move your career forward. 

Come forward and speak out

Most women tend to wait for their turn or hold back during meetings. You must instead speak up and own a place at the table. Say something very early during a meeting to gain familiarity with the atmosphere, discussion, and people. Not only making the other participants hear you is essential, but you must also be as much direct as possible in your speech. Understand that you are there at the meeting for a good reason and own that reason. Being brief will make you welcomed. Develop the skill to topline your information.

Learn how to express yourself in the best way

Gather all the resources and facts mentally and then prove that you are more facile with the issue on the discussion. Never lose yourself and try to be cool. This can demonstrate that you are strong. You must also express your strength through your body language. Sit or stand tall, pull the shoulders back, hold the head high in the air, speak loudly enough and have all the pertinent information at your fingertips.

Question the traditional gender roles

Men do gain a lot of advantages by banking on their behavioral choices. A study conducted by Stanford’s Business School has revealed that women who were able to show up their masculine traits like confidence and aggressive behavior could enjoy an advantage over the other women who could not by securing 1.5 more promotions. Though you must challenge the traditional roles, you need not sacrifice your values, alter your personality or dress up like men. Instead, choose to make some small changes like demanding a pay raise. The salary differences between men and women are found to be due to women being lesser prepared than men when it comes to asking for a raise

Take the credit for your contribution

Most women have difficulty in acknowledging that a job was well done. For instance, when appreciated for her work, a woman might respond by saying, “Oh! It was because I was just lucky then”. Never expect that a boss will be interested in promoting someone who said she succeeded because of sheer luck. At times, when it is appropriate, you can surely credit your assistant for getting the project done in  time. This is perfectly OK. However, never refuse to accept the responsibility for the positive role you have played as this attitude can never inspire others’ confidence in your abilities.

Focus on networking

Never waste time on complaining about how men network. When men can choose to get involved with activities that go outside offices, you certainly have a chance to join or not. Nevertheless, remember that most men attending the networking events and programs can do better than you. Most of them could be there merely in pursuit of advancing their career.

For women, spending time with family after the work hours and on weekends is a top priority. If this is important to you as well, then it is advisable to skip the unofficial networking adventures. However, in the good interest of growing professionally, it is important to explore chances to network and close the business deals outside the office.

Find explanations rather than making excuses

There is no point in blaming men for the lack of success you are facing in your career. You might meet challenges that your male counterparts might not come across. For instance, men have lesser domestic commitments, and they do not face sexual harassment at the workplace as women do. None can deny that you are struggling as a woman to succeed in your career.  At the same time, every single minute you are likely to waste on self-pitying and making excuses can be spent on advancing your career. Focus on the right solution to every challenge you will encounter. Work hard giving your best in everything and prove your full potentials. Then you have done what you are supposed to do to grow your career.


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