Feb 272017
How to thrive in a male dominated environment

Gone are the days when women were just seen and not heard. Meetings were held without women and the kitchen was the only comfort zone and office for them. As the society is evolving, a lot of traditions and customs are abolished.

This evolution has emancipated women from age-long relegation, enabling them to come out from their shells to take the world by storm and explore the many available opportunities.

In this 21st century, women are evolving socially, politically, educationally, career wise and lots more both in the international and local scene.

We have women in various offices and positions that before now were socially and traditionally reserved for men. They are now pilots, ambassadors, governors, prime ministers, head of different parastatal and boards and even presidents. We have the likes of Amina J Mohammed, Helen Johnson Sirleaf, Angela Merkel, to mention a few.

Women are taking up male dominated roles. The good thing is that they are also excelling and even doing better than their counterparts. They work side by side with them and have a healthy work relationship with their boss, teammates, colleagues while comfortably exploring the corporate world.

Working with people could be a sweet–bitter experience let alone working in a male dominated environment as a woman. But there is always a way out.

How to thrive in a male dominated environment

The below tips can help you sustain a good and healthy work relationship with your male counterpart while you advance in your career.

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1. Be friendly with everyone

There is a thin line between hate and love, so also there should be a limit to friendship. Do not over-indulge anyone, always keep your temper in check and extend a hand of fellowship were necessary.

Do not be too close for comfort to avoid sexual harassment. Be nice but at the same time, don’t patronize disgusting stories and jokes. Always bring positive energy to everyone you meet.

2. Be a valuable person

Try to add value in whatever capacity you can. Help out in most difficult task as much as you can. Don’t try to outdo, copy or compete with anyone. Be an original and stick to your skills, aspirations, talents and values. You will excel better when you are outstanding in your own way.

3. Have a high self-esteem

Working in a male dominated environment can be quite intimidating, especially if you are the only female at your department. Well, do not lose sleep over that, all you need is your self-esteem; let it be above par.

Be firm in your decisions and work towards your goals, don’t allow anybody talk you down or try to box you into a corner because of your gender. Be diplomatic and approach issues from the point of a victor, not a victim.

Try not to succumb to pressure and let no words and action break you. Unless your job designate entails being a personal assistant do not be anybody’s assistant or else, people will take undue advantage of you. Be firm and assertive.

See the 9 male dominated careers that women are totally crushing

4. Be ambitious in an uncompromising manner

Put everything in the right perspective. Trash out issues and calmly contribute your quota to the growth of the organization, be a team player and carry everyone along. Don’t be a loner when you have a team project. It will only project selfishness and unnecessary competition.

Don’t be trickery in order to receive favor; this could resurrect envy, victimization and jealousy by your co-workers. Calmly ask for a pay rise, your bonuses, allowances and incentives if you truly deserve them. Compete with no one but yourself, try to outlive your previous records and lastly live and let live.

5. Be an inspiration to your work environment

To attain success, you have to believe in yourself. Have a reasonable amount of panache and the ability to overlook harsh comments and side-talks. Learn to ignore gender based discrimination, despotism and favoritism especially those put forward by your co-workers.

Respond positively to negative actions. Inspire others and believe in your abilities. Keep working and enjoying your roles and working space, overlook a lot of excesses that may come your way.

Now that you have survival tips, go out there and explore any male dominated roles and environment of your dreams. The sky is just your starting point.

Do you work in a male dominated environment, let’s read your thriving approach in the comments section.

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