Believe it or not, despite it being 2017, many industries today are still male-dominated. In industries like construction, machinery, and logistics, male dominate the field and continue to make more than and advance further than women in those same fields. Fortunately, many women are learning about what it takes to make it in these lucrative, but often competitive fields.
How Does She Do It?
In an ideal world, the workplace would be gender-neutral, leveling the playing fields for both women and men to succeed. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. To go toe to toe with the “big boys” you’ve got to be willing to roll up your sleeves and get down to work. So how are women today able to be successful in these fields? Here are a few tidbits.
Start with a Solid Foundation
In a world where gender seems to matter more than skill, it is necessary to have a solid foundation to work with. In this instance, it refers to having a solid education and an understanding of the field you’re looking to enter. If you’re interested in the construction industry, instead of just getting a degree in business, you may need to take it a step further by looking for construction management schools to enroll in to get specific training in the niche and field you intend to enter. A strong educational background sends the message that not only are you willing to invest in the advancement of your career, but you’re knowledgeable about the field.
Build Connections Outside of the Office
Let’s face it, to an office or industry field with men who very much care about their ego, having a woman come on the scene and try to do things as good or better than them can seem intimidating. Sometimes, showing your colleagues who you are outside of the office allows them to let their guard down. If your male peers can understand that you’re just as passionate about your work as they are and that you’re an all-around decent person, they tend to ease up a bit and let you in. So, go to the after-work sessions at the nearby bar for happy hour and have a few drinks and laughs. Or, invite a few friends over to your home and host a small gathering. Try to keep the work talk to a minimum and just focus on connecting with others.
Don’t Be Ashamed of Stereotypical Strengths
Being a woman has a lot of advantages. This isn’t just at home but in the workplace as well. A woman brings a different perspective and often a distinct set of skills and strengths than their male counterparts. So, if you’re good at being in tune with how others are feeling, you’re a good listener, you are great with empathizing, or people are just drawn to your approachable personality, use that to your advantage. These are all strengths that help cultivate effective managers and leaders.
Have a Dedicated Support System
No successful person ever made it to the top without having a group of people they can rely on for support. Whether it’s a mentor they go to for business and personal advice, a group of colleagues, or friends, it is imperative to have people around you that want what’s best for you and will help you reach your goals.
For decades now, women have been told that they’ll never be as good as their male counterparts or succeed in the business world the way a man would. The reality is, that while there are still a lot of male-dominated fields out there, there are plenty of women showing that they too can reach the top. With the right foundation, an understanding among your peers, a strong support system, and your unique strengths as a woman, if you push forward with your goals, you can make it in any field.