The fight for women’s equality in the workplace has seen some progress over the years, but the battle still rages on, especially when it comes to women who chose careers in male-dominated industries.
By definition, a male-dominated industry is one that “contains 25% or less women in total employment.” Women that work in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering or Math) are faced with some of the biggest struggles in the equality fight thanks to the field and all corresponding occupations within them remaining heavily male-dominated.
The challenges that women face in the industries and occupations can range from less diverse employee pools (thanks to male-dominated management positions) and promotions being given based on stereotypes surrounding masculine criteria, to men not wanting to listen to what you have to offer simply because you’re a female. Regardless of the reason, there are things you can do to help elevate yourself in your career without having to lower your morals.
Where do we begin when it comes to joining the fight for equality in the workplace? Well, it’s always good to hear words of advice from fellow women who have been through the male-dominated struggle, and we couldn’t agree with these 5 tips from Forbes’ Womens Media:
- Declare your purpose. This will keep you motivated and strong when the going gets tough.
- Tell at least 10 people in your sector your idea and get feedback. Consider finding a mentor – as their advice can be an invaluable resource.
- Create a “give and get” support system of people to engage with regularly.
- Remember this quote from David J. Schwartz from The Magic of Thinking Big — “Action cures fear.”
- Treat the haters and disbelievers with kindness and love. They can’t help themselves, they don’t know better, but you do. Be better than them.
Don’t let the challenges faced in a male-dominated career field you get you down. Keep your eyes on the prize and stay focused on your goals, so that you may one day be an inspiration for other women.
Have you faced challenges advancing your career in male-dominated industries? We’d love to hear your stories and advice below.