Seven tips to help you stand out in a male dominated workplace
Women have come a long way in equality over the pas decades, but board room figures, maternal discrimination and the gender pay gap all indicate we still have far to go.
A survey by the Morning Consult and The New York Times also revealed that one in every three men admitted they had done something that could qualify as sexual harassment or ‘objectionable behavior against women’ i the previous year.
So what can you do if you work in a make dominated office and want to be taken seriously? If you want to ensure your voice is heard and you are noticed and respected by your colleagues, clients and managers?
To help you ensure that you stand out (for the right reasons) in a male dominated office, we’ve collated these seven tips.
1) Make your voice heard
Several studies conducted over the years prove that women are far less likely to voice their views in a meeting.
And many of the women who do speak up tend to either apologize repeatedly, or are frequently interrupted. So what can women do to overcome this?
Sarah, a senior working professional, who offers online assignment help Perth, says that it is important for you to have faith in what you are saying. You need to know the value of your opinion and believe that what you have to say is worth being heard of.
Then make sure you speak clearly and assertively, and avoid ‘uncertain’ or apologetic language like “can I…”, “I think…” “If it’s okay…” and “Sorry”. Consider your body language, too. Sit tall, square your shoulders and maintain eye contact.
2) Make yourself a person of value
Don’t wait for people to recognize your value. Know your own worth, and ensure that it’s evident to others.
If you want to work on a particular project, speak to the person responsible for assigning it, and make your case. Ask for annual appraisals (if they’re not automatic) and prepare evidence of how you have performed over the past year. Don’t forget to ask for a pay rise either.
If you do well on a project, make sure your manager knows what your involvement was, and don’t allow anyone else to take credit for your achievements.
3) Be assertive with your needs
Maria a well-known financial adviser, who offers online finance homework help services, says that she always had a problem with communicating her thoughts in public.
To get over this, she practiced feeling and acting more confident and assertive. ‘Assertive’ doesn’t mean being rude, hostile or over bearing. It simply means being able to state your thoughts and needs, and ensuring they are heard.
One way to to this is to frame your feelings or request simply, and keep restating it if it’s not heard or dismissed. For example, you might make the request “I need double the budget in order to achieve my team’s targets”. If that’s not acknowledged or actioned in a meeting you simply state again, “As I said, I need…”.
Never apologise or over explain. Keep your statement simple and to the point. If people need more information they can ask. All you need to do is stick to your ground and now allow anyone to water it down or deviate you from your aim.
4) Don’t try too hard to be a people pleaser
Too often, women try too hard to be a people pleaser. As a result, they diminish their status. For example, if someone is needed to take notes in a meeting, women are more likely to volunteer.
They’re also often the ones who’ll chase up missing refreshments in e meeting, and end up serving the coffee. Not only does this distract you from your own work and the points you want to make, but it can make you appear less important or valid.
You don’t need to fulfil the needs of others and keep them happy to be a nice person. And simply being seen as ‘nice’ isn’t going to further your professional agenda.
So don’t be the first to leap up and offer to help in a meeting. Let a man take the notes and serve the coffee. No one will think any worse of you for it – and they may even respect you more.
5) Know your strengths
Shazia, a senior manager in a reputed company, who works with a website that writes essays for you, says that to succeed in your professional life, you need to know (and use) your unique strengths.
If you’re not sure what they are, find out. Ask your manager and colleagues what they think your key skills and talents are. And look back on past appraisals. What talents and strengths do your managers highlight?
And if there are any areas that require work, then be proactive in filling those gaps. Look for opportunities to up-skill and get experience. Ask your HR department if there are any CPD courses you can do.
When you are aware of your strengths, and actively tackling your less strong areas, you can put yourself forward for opportunities with more confidence.
6) Handle conflict appropriately
Sometimes you may encounter conflict at work – either directed at you or involving colleagues. So it’s important to know how to handle it appropriately to maintain the respect of your colleagues.
If conflict involves others, don’t allow yourself to get drawn in. Don’t listen to or pass on office gossip. Instead, if someone has an issue with a colleague, recommend they speak to their manager or HR department and handle it professionally.
And if you see inappropriate behaviour or bullying, let the right people at work know what is happening so they can intervene as appropriate.
If conflict is aimed at you, again don’t allow yourself to get drawn into it. Speak to your manager or HR department and ensure they handle it to your satisfaction. If not, seek help from your union or other external bodies set up to protect employees.
7) Show leadership qualities
Chad, a charismatic leader and a public speaker, who offers the best affiliate marketing training courses, says that to be a leader, you don’t necessarily need to be in a position of leadership.
Irrespective of your job or title, every day is an opportunity to demonstrate leadership qualities. From conveying your ideas and needs, to motivating your colleagues, handling conflict responsibly and taking responsibility for your work and career.
Become the person that others go to for advice, direction and motivation. Be someone who exudes confidence and responsibility. Someone who can always be trusted and gains the respect of everyone they work with.
You don’t need to shout loudest or dominate others to be a leader – you need to make people want to listen to you, and respect your ideas and direction. And you can just as easily do this as a woman, as a man.
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