Working in a male dominated workplace can be intimidating and even feel unfair sometimes.
Throughout my entire life I’ve been surrounded by men! I have two brothers and no sisters. Growing up I played golf which 9 times out of 10 I was the only woman on the golf course.
I was the head little sister for a fraternity that countless times put me in situations where I was the only woman surrounded by 30-40 men.
Now, my coworker and I are the only women at the company I work at full-time.
So trust me when I say I’ve been there and done that…and am still doing it! All of these situations have taught me many things.
From that, I have some great tips for you if you’re feeling outnumbered and need direction on how to find your voice and be a boss babe in a world full of men.
Succeed in a Male Dominated Workplace
Letting your voice be heard is one of the most powerful things you can do in the workplace. You have an opinion?
Even if it’s opposing the general ideas coming up in the meeting. Women that are in a male dominated workplace have even that much more value and power. It’s in you, don’t doubt yourself.
You just need to take a deep breath, smile, and say what you think with confidence (for tips on behaviors of confident women go here).
There’s also been countless times I’ve been in meetings with only men and didn’t quite understand something fully.
If you find this happening to you then ask questions!
Asking for clarity shows that you are willing to learn, you have the confidence to admit when you don’t fully know something and it shows that you care enough to understand the material.
The smartest people in the room ask the most questions.
Throughout meetings I am always thinking about questions I want to ask. So you can focus on the material at hand and not continue to think of the question, try jotting it down and ask it when the time is appropriate.
If you’re thinking about it, the chances are someone else is too.
Don’t Be a People-Pleaser
This is something I struggled with and had to quickly find a way to stop doing it!
Coworkers might ask you last minute to do something or need something from you.
Just because they need it doesn’t mean your priorities are not important anymore. Evaluate your to-do list and get back with them with the appropriate time it will take you to complete it, as it fits in your schedule.
Your time is valuable. You only have so much time during a workday so prioritize tasks.
I tend to always put others before myself, which is something that was causing me to get burned out in the workplace. Because of this, I only take on one or two random or last-minute tasks that may come up per day.
And if you don’t have time that day then stand your ground and say you won’t have it until tomorrow.
Take Advantage of Outside Work Opportunities
If your company has happy hours or service days make sure to take advantage of them!
Great opportunities can come from bonding with coworkers and bosses outside of the office. That’s when you really get to know someone and it’s a great way to deepen relationships with people.
There’s also been many times where my coworkers will drink after work that is unrelated to the company.
When it comes down to it, there’s always a social divide between those who hang out outside of work and those who don’t.
You can always tell so put yourself in the best position you can and let that social butterfly, fly.
Know Your Worth
If you think you deserve a raise or promotion the chances are, you do.
Make sure you write down everything you’ve been contributing and what it’s brought to the company in terms of KPIs (key performance metrics).
How much revenue have you brought the company?
What about leads?
Where are you with hitting your goals?
Knowing your worth is something vital to your success and advancement in your career. It’s easy to get taken advantage of with employee turnover and changes within the company.
When you go to your boss or manager with data and facts to back up your worth you’ll be that much more likely to get what you want.
You are worth what you think and more! Make it known, girl.
It’s Okay to Say “No”
In the workplace there’s this constant and ongoing pressure to grind and work yourself sick.
Don’t fall into that pressure!
Yes, it’s so important to meet your goals and have no work left undone, but do not keep taking on more and more where you have no work life balance.
You will start dreading your work no matter how much you love your job.
People who work crazy hours usually become unhappy, pessimistic towards their jobs and exhausted.
Yes, it’s fine every now and then to compromise your lunch for a big project or deadline, but if you find yourself doing that often you need to restructure your priorities. It’s just not healthy to never take a break.
For me, going on a 10 minute walk or looking a funny memes will reboot my brain and get me going again.
Say “no” when you need to.
Guys definitely say no and you should too.
Play to Your Power
Know what you’re good at and focus on that. Play to your power in your projects and in the workplace.
You love acts of service and charity work? Offer to plan the next service day or give recommendations on where the company should volunteer.
You are really empathetic and a great listener? Ask to interview customers and use that data in a useful way.
Women posses SO many strengthens and there is always a way to spin that strength to your everyday tasks and projects.
Heck, even use it to take on something new–if your workload allows it!
Look for Leadership Opportunities
You can be a leader even if you don’t have a leadership title.
There’s so many ways you can be creative and find opportunities in unique ways to show off skills of leading people or putting work in new areas that wasn’t done before.
Especially if there’s lack of women in your workplace, it’s so important to voice your opinion and take a stand on issues and topics.
Make way for the women that will come after you and show them what it looks like to be a confident and empowered women even in the face of a male-dominated workplace.
You Are Your Own Worst Enemy
The only person stopping you is, YOU.
I live by this quote by Eleanor Roosevelt…
Do something everyday that scares you.
When having to give a report in front of management, when leading a conference call, or when speaking up in a meeting of just men with an opposing thought to what was just said, do it!
Be the example of what you want to see.
I’ll say it again, take a deep breath, smile, and speak with confidence.
You matter and you are there for a reason.
Own it girlfriend.
Thank you for reading! Comment below and let me know what you think. What to see more posts like this? Let me know!