How To Thrive In A Male Dominated Industry

How To Thrive In A Male Dominated Industry

We may have come a long way towards gaining equality in the workplace, but in some industries, there is still a long way to go. Societal expectations of women, pervasive stereotypes, and a fear of sexual harassment are just some of the things that women face on a day-to-day basis when working in sectors like construction, mining, and manufacturing – but we cannot let this stop us from ensuing these careers. As a woman in a male-dominated workplace, we are still held to the same standards as men, if not higher, so here’s how to thrive and build a successful career. 

Don’t give them any excuse

When working in a male-dominated sector, it is essential that you hold yourself to a high standard. If you need certain insurances such as, qualifications, or experience, then go out and get them so that there is nothing holding you or your business back. There’s no denying the fact that as a woman in these industries, we need to work harder and smarter than our male colleagues to gain the same recognition, so make time for personal growth and continual development and put yourself out there. 

Don’t give in to traditional female roles

Whether subconsciously or not, you will find that men tend to try and delegate traditional female roles to women in a male-driven environment. This could be fetching the team lunch, cleaning down the mess room, or doing the ‘light-weight’ jobs. Don’t allow this narrative to simply continue, speak up if it is always you who is given cleaning, or drinks duty and don’t be afraid to put yourself forward for heavier tasks that men may try to step over you for. Sometimes, men will try to take heavier jobs because they feel that it is chivalrous, however, to be respected as equal in your industry, you need to show them that you are capable of the work too. 

Don’t stand for sexism or harassment

Staying silent if you experience sexism or sexual harassment only fuels the problem. You may feel that staying quiet will help you to build a reputation among your colleagues, or you fear that your concerns will not be heard by higher authorities, but in reality, it only shows the offending individuals that they can get away with it. Speak up if you experience sexism of harassment on the job, and if your colleagues do not respect this, then take it further. The only way that sexism and sexual harassment will be stamped out in male-dominated industries is if women make it known that they will no longer accept it. 

Become an activist for women in your sector

Lastly, as a woman in a male-dominated industry, it is part of your job to help encourage more women into the sector. Use your voice to share your thoughts and experiences, and push for more female representation in your workplace. As more women see that women are beginning to thrive in male-driven environments, the balance will start to shift, and the stereotypes will begin to fade. 


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