5 Key Pieces Of Advice For Women Looking To Get Ahead In A Male-Dominated Industry

By Makeda Waterman

According to the United States Department of Labor, “Women comprised 47 percent of the total U.S. labor force. “As women enter the workforce after transitioning into a new career, an important point to consider is if an opportunity in a field that is made up of primarily male employees is worth the challenge. The idea is to be strategic with a plan for success while finding a balance with your personal life.

Let’s face it. Some women thrive in competitive industries as leaders that include as technology, the military and oil, and gas. Others may not have the desire to work a bit harder than their colleagues while facing challenges to prove themselves when gender stereotypes can be apart of the company culture.

The next time you are hesitant about applying for a job in a male-dominated industry, consider these helpful tips.

  1. Tailor Your Resume as a Team Player

Think of your resume as a virtual portfolio of leading organizations. We recommend that you use leadership strengths when defining your worth throughout your resume by using useful resume examples found on the internet. For example, “Achieved maximum results as a Proposal Manager at a real estate company with an opportunity success rate of 35 percent.” This is a sentence that is high impact and will show hiring managers you can close deals in a competitive industry.

If you use active verbs listed below, a human resource specialist will be more likely to inquire about your experience:

  • Delegated
  • Organized
  • Controlled
  • Established
  • Sponsored

  1. Embrace Your Femininity

A common misconception when people think about a woman working on a majority male team is she must be aggressive. A passive aggressive female can be respected in the eyes of her colleagues when the true essence of her personality is apart of her character. Most people can tell when someone at work is pretending to be strong, overqualified for their role or a talkative extrovert.

A few of the personality traits that most leaders possess is useful communication skills. The ability to have empathy for other people. As this quality can be seen in men, women have a natural ability to be nurturers which are appreciated by people at work.

  1. Build a Support Team

A support team at work means networking with people in the C-suite, management, human resources or critical players at a company. One of the benefits of people sponsoring your hard work is it can assist you with a promotion while working in a competitive department. For example, if you connect with the director of human resources, the chance of an interview invitation for a job is more likely than being disregarded as the only woman on the team.

The golden rule of networking is being yourself and finding a way to help your mentor. It can be taking a manager out for lunch once a month or sharing an industry related blog to a supervisor that works in a department of interest.

  1. Know Your Industry

It is easy to be disregarded for a promotion, but if you are a subject matter expert in your field, the facts never lie. When you step outside of work, read books in your area and stay connected to news updates on legislative changes in the industry. This knowledge can be the driving force behind evolution and operational improvements at the company. If you are in the world of business, studying for a marketing MBA online, for example, can be a great way to show you have credibility and dedication for your field of work and are in this industry for the long age.

If you are looking for a sales job, there are resources where you can learn key industry skills and know how to master your job. Don’t be afraid to speak up at meetings to show the team an environmental, legal or economic change can potentially impact the organization. Despite the fact you are a woman, organizations need people that are invested in sharing their business knowledge.

  1. Find Your Comfort Zone

There are times when some women avoid golf trips with the team or going out to a restaurant for drinks. It is entirely understandable in some cases, but the idea is to show people you can be comfortable with these kinds of events.

If you believe you will be nervous, find another female you work with to attend. The goal of working in a male-dominated the industry is not to be ‘one of the guy’s’ but to show you have what it takes to have a conversation with colleagues about work and non-work-related discussions.

Final Thoughts

The old saying “the world is your oyster” is a real definition of the mindset to have while working in a diverse work environment. If you believe your gender is holding you back, it will become a reality. It is true that women often experience challenges in this kind of environment, but once you start to recognize your talents, strengths, and weaknesses, it can help you to shape your career in the right direction.





Makeda Waterman is an online media journalist and freelance writer with a passion for helping people succeed in life. Outside of writing for The Huffington Post, she has writing features on CNBC Make It., Bustle, and Glassdoor. Connect with her on Twitter and Linkedin.

One Comment

  1. Pingback: 3 Pieces Of Advice I Learned To Help Me Navigate A Male-Dominated Workplace - GirlTalkHQ

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