Boss Lady

8 ways women can ensure they conquer in a men’s business world


Working in a man’s world presents a lot of challenges for women because, well, we are women.

But these challenges can be overcome with a lot of hard work and perseverance to show you do belong there and are just as skilled and talented — if not more so — than your male colleagues.

It is OK if they call you names

Unless it gets out of hand, you should take this in your stride and use it to help drive your success, as it could just mean they know how good you are at your job and are subconsciously afraid of you on that level. Yes name-calling can be unpleasant, but unless it is actually causing you a problem,  shrug it off as jealousy and keep doing what you’re doing.

Of course, if there is a real ongoing problem that could be classified as bullying, you need to take legal measures.

Being attractive is fine; trading on your sexuality is bad

You can’t control the way you look or whether others find you attractive. But what you can control is whether or not you use that to your advantage.

Acting and dressing provocatively will not help you in the work place and will only lower the respect your colleagues have for you — and make them talk about that instead of the many successes you’ve in your career.

Find a supportive boss

Having a supportive boss can help you when working in a man’s world because they will see the skill and talent you bring to the job and value you in the workplace.

To find this person, talk to everyone you work with, especially if they hold higher positions than you, and find as many common links between the two of you as possible to ensure your compatibility.

And be sure to look beyond whether or not they are female but instead, are supportive of women in the workplace — and will recognize you on your merits rather than comparing you to other employees and judging who is the best.

Find a female mentor

While women in male dominated workplaces can be few and far between, finding a female mentor can still be done.

Start by doing some research on the women who also work for the same company as you, especially if they hold high ranking positions or have otherwise achieved things you’d like to as well. Then make contact, first to see if they are a good fit and then to see if they’ll be your mentor.If it works out, you will be able to benefit from their advice and tap into their knowledge on how to break down barriers when going forward in your career.

This will help a great deal because they will know what it’s like to be in your shoes when starting out in male dominated workplaces and can help you when you enter uncertain situations where you’re not sure what to do.

Conduct career conversations

Having a career conversation has a lot to do with employee engagement with their bosses.

Without this, you put yourself at a disadvantage in developing your skills and your career to make it go in the direction you want.

To overcome this, especially as a woman in the workplace and gaining leadership positions, talk to your boss about what you want to achieve in your career and how you might get there.

Display confidence

While it will be tough to work in a man’s world, displaying confidence over letting your fears take over is a great way to succeed in this world and become visible to those around you.

To do this, block out the negativity others show towards you, remember that you do belong there, and that you were hired because you are competent and capable of doing the job.

Take criticism well

Receiving criticism is part of any job you hold and is something you should always take in your stride.

To do this, try not to think of the ‘criticism’ as something personal but rather as an opportunity for you to improve yourself professionally and develop your skills and work further.

Positive feedback is great. But it’s the negative feedback, or ‘criticism’, that helps you improve and produce better work.

Choose your battles

It would be easy to fight every battle that comes your way during your career—but that would a fruitless venture. The difficult thing is to choose which battles to fight (the big, important ones) and which ones not to (the small, petty ones).

To do this, examine each issue objectively – even get a second opinion if you feel you can’t be objective.

About Rowena Nagy

Rowena Nagy is a Journalist at The Business Woman Media. A graduate in Journalism, Media and Communications, she is passionate about in writing, travel journalism, video journalism and Public Relations.

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