You’re a successful, bright young woman who landed a big job at a top company. However, you look around and see you are the only woman represented in the morning meeting. Someone mistakens you as an assistant or secretary? How frustrating is that?
I grew up attending an all-girls school for about 13 years of my life before heading off to college. Even though the jobs I have had included more female employees, I have had to learn how to work with men who dominate the workplace. I have learned some practical tips on how to thrive in the workplace, even if you are one of the only women present.
- Network outside of the office
- Some of the best career opportunities arise outside of the office, especially over drinks. Getting out of the office environment will help you to relax and give you an opportunity to develop a connection with your boss.
2) Don’t be the one to grab your boss’s coffee or lunch
- How often do you see a successful man in the workplace fetching coffee or lunch for the boss? If you’re not someone’s assistant, do not act like one. Unless your boss decides to treat his employees to coffee, do not make it a regular thing. If your male peers aren’t paying up, then you shouldn’t have to either.
3) Don’t be the “Yes” Woman
- In any workplace, there’s a tremendous amount of pressure to work hard and get everything done that needs to be done. It’s easy to say ‘yes’ to every project because you want to be a good employee. However, that will ultimately hurt you and the company. Stand up for projects you genuinely want to work on and be firm when you don’t have the capacity. You have the right to say no and bet that many of the guys say no as well.
4) Play up your Strengths
- If you are a good listener, empathetic, and social, play to these strengths. They are good qualities to have as a future leader, especially in a workplace where there isn’t much of it, and it will get you some praise from your boss and co-workers.
5) Get a Sponsor
- A sponsor is someone who will mentor you and promote you within the company. The sponsor can tell the rest of the organization how great you are and why you deserve a promotion. It’s very difficult to move up the ladder in a male-dominated workplace if you don’t have a sponsor. Cultivate relationships with your fellow employees and your boss because it’s nice to have people who are looking out for you.
June 11, 2018