For women in the professional workplace, getting ahead often means learning how to succeed in a male dominated workforce. It isn’t uncommon for women to find themselves alone in several industries and fields, but that doesn’t mean they can’t overcome the boy’s club and find success.
The gender ratio can be enough to thwart most people’s drive, even with employment law on your side, but you can still thrive in the office. Before you get discouraged about being the only person using the ladies room, take a look at these practical tips to get ahead of your male peers.
Make Your Voice Heard
Working hard and waiting for promotions or raises to come your way is a thing of the past. You may deserve to tackle your office’s next big project, but managers don’t rely on merit. Bosses are looking for employees who speak up.
Work on catching your manager in the hall or over a morning coffee break, expressing which projects excite you. This opens the door for you to schedule formal meetings, helping you work on the aspects of the job you desire most. The more your boss hears you, the better your chance to succeed.
Part of getting ahead in a male dominated workplace is knowing your rights as an equal employee. While these are rarely followed to the letter, there are times when you need to fall back on the law in order to move forward.
This could range from disability accommodation to sexual harassment or simply gender discrimination. Whatever the case is, don’t be afraid to reach out and speak up. You have rights as an employee that no one can take away. If your employer does retaliate, that’s illegal as well.
Don’t Become The Go-Fer
If you want to break the stereotype of women’s roles being glorified secretaries, then don’t perform the functions of a secretary. It isn’t your job to grab coffee, food, or do any other type of assistant work for your coworkers or the boss.
There are always exceptions, like buttering your boss up on a bad day or when they let a group go grab coffee for the office. However, you should never allow these actions to become the norm. When you start becoming the “go-fer” person, no one is going to take you seriously.
Use Your Strengths
You have a unique set of skills that your male coworkers more than likely lack. Whether it’s emotional aptitude, empathy, or socializing, don’t be afraid to use them. These qualities set you apart from your coworkers and offer your boss something they’re lacking from the rest of the workforce.
At the same time, don’t make these your primary traits. You also need to prove that your skills in this job are what make you a quality candidate from raises and promotions. The combination of these skills are what give you the ability to stand out, get noticed, and succeed.