Making Your Mark In A Masculine Working Environment

 

Getting by in the working world when you feel yourself not to have as many skills as the more authoritative or influential entrepreneurs can feel like a very disadvantageous position to be in. But if you are a woman, and you’re trying to make your mark in a masculine working environment, it can feel like you’re banging your head against a brick wall. Amazingly, there are still some areas and industries where the workforce is predominantly masculine, and this can feel like those industries require a short, sharp, kick into the modern world. But if you are working in these environments, and you are trying to make yourself heard, how can you get inspiration to push forward?

Make Yourself Heard

Statistically speaking, women are less likely to speak up in meetings than men. It can feel intimidating for numerous reasons, but if you let your voice be heard, and you, pardon the cliché, speak with confidence, and you are not a shrinking violet, this is the key to developing that overall confidence and belief in your own abilities. Yes, it’s a cliché, but once you start believing in your own abilities, you’re giving other people reason to believe in you also.

Stop Trying To Be A People Pleaser

It’s not exclusively a female trait; it’s something a lot of us do to ensure we keep on the right side of proceedings. We feel that if we become a people pleaser, we will be privy to certain developments, and we are going to be noticed more. If we’ve learnt anything, the fact is, being a people pleaser means you are more likely to get walked over than be considered for that promotion. Instead, it’s time to think about serving the people above you, it’s time to serve yourself. For example, if you thought that getting a coffee for the boss would put you in their good books, this is something that actually belittles you rather than highlights your skills. Let the coffee be given to them by the appropriate person.

Get Inspiration From Mentors

If you are working hard at getting yourself noticed, but it’s not getting anywhere, it’s time to get inspiration from people who’ve been there, and then some. The great thing about mentors and people, who have worked up the ladder in certain industries where they were originally a minor part, but developed into a key player, can give you the best tactics in which to make yourself heard. The act of getting a mentor to sit with you and discuss your predicament is more than worth its weight in gold. What they can do for you is provide you with an action plan or a template to consider, not necessarily follow to the letter. All they can give you is their experience of events, but this could be inspiration enough to spark you off in a whole new direction. Because there are so many industries where it is male-dominated, coming up with an idea that is unique, but is also integral to pushing the business forward, is going to get you noticed. In a predominantly masculine environment, such as the manufacturing industry, the importance of getting a good tip-off with quality clients, like C.L. Smith in relation to packaging issues, especially if the business is struggling with the supply chain, can be the meal ticket that the business needs to pick itself back up. Mentors aren’t there to tell you exactly what to do; they are there so you can get an understanding of what you’re up against, and how you can overcome the odds. When you are in over your head, or you are in the minority, it can feel incredibly isolating, and speaking to female entrepreneurs that have had to fight their way up the ladder, isn’t just a breath of fresh air, but it could give you the pickup that you need. Being in an environment where you are being passed over for promotion or you don’t feel like you’re being heard, can be incredibly exhausting. Having something as basic as an email conversation with a mentor could give you the tools necessary to keep pushing.

Play To Your Strengths

Playing to your strengths is something you are already doing, no doubt, but when you are in an environment where you have a unique set of assets, it is vital that you use these. By having a set of skills that you can conjure up that nobody else in the boardroom has, it can win you enemies, but it can win you friends too. We all have a unique set of skills, and if we feel that what we’ve got isn’t unique enough to the environment we work in; this is where you have to do your homework. By taking those opportunities to enroll in a night class, or even doing online learning, you can naturally expand your skills palate, so you can distinguish yourself as being a different class to your contemporaries.

Prepare For Battle

It’s not the most ideal set of circumstances, but when you are trying to make your mark in a masculine dominated environment, there will be conflict from time to time. But instead of constantly banging heads against the people you are meant to be working with, it will benefit you, and the other person, to try to mediate the situation better. Ask your colleague how you can get past the issue at hand. Remember, it’s better to keep it professional, rather than to make it personal. And when you are trying to make your mark in a world that could very well be dismissive of your abilities, you need to remember that being professional is what will get you recognized, especially in these times of conflict.

It can be one of the most frustrating aspects of the working environment, but it’s not like these industries haven’t had the opportunity to catch up to the modern way of thinking. However, if you find yourself in these situations, you need to remember that it is possible to make your mark; you just have to push that little bit further.

 

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