Holly Hicks, workplacerantings.com
You would think that in the 21st century, that there would no longer be an issue with women working in any field they choose. However, there are still a number of male dominated workplaces and learning how to deal with working in such a workplace is going to make a huge difference in your success or failure. Here are a few tips that just may help you cope, and even gain your acceptance among your masculine peers.
Dress For Success Not For Femininity
Follow the dress code set by the place that you work. If suits are the order of the day, then wear a smart suit that is all business. Everyone you work with are going to know you are a woman, so you don’t have to the hide the fact, but you don’t want to dress in a manner that calls excess attention to your femininity either. Save those great outfits for a night on the town, and dress as though you really mean business.
Don’t Try to Be One of the Boys
If you are in a male dominated workplace, remember that you are never going to be thought of as one of the boys, so be yourself. Focus on being a team player and doing your job to the best of your ability. That doesn’t mean that you can’t bond with the boys over an after work beer or form friendships among your colleagues it simply means that you need to fit in for who you are instead of trying to be someone you are not.
Learn to be Vocal about those Projects and Opportunities you Want
Women have a tendency to believe that if they do a great job their boss will notice and give them that great new project to head or offer them the opportunity for advancement. Men on the other hand do not hesitate to vocalize which projects they feel they are suited for and speak up when an opportunity comes along. If you want to advance in a male dominated workplace you are going to need to be vocal about the opportunities you want and be prepared to explain why you are the best person for the job.
Play to Your Strengths
Women tend to be better at observing things and listening to others than do men. These strengths can be used to help you read a situation and even avoid conflict with co-workers. Playing to your own unique strengths that may different than your male counterparts can add value to the workplace and help you to become successful.
Don’t Be Too Easily Offended
One of the reasons why men in male dominated professions have a difficult time accepting a female member to their group is because they feel they are expected to change their behavior and even the way they talk. If a dirty joke or someone criticizing their wife or girlfriend easily offends you, then you are going to have a difficult time fitting in. While you should never allow yourself to be sexually harassed in the workplace, you also shouldn’t be offended by normal male behavior that isn’t directed at you. Doing so will only increase hostility in the workplace and make it more difficult for you to do your job.
If you are about to enter a male dominated workplace hopefully these tips will make the transition easier.
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