The prospect of being a female entrepreneur within a male-dominated industry, may be quite daunting for those keen to break the glass ceiling or simply pursue the field they fell in love with through their studies and/or experience.
A quote from Forbes on the subject of gender inequality within the workplace states:
‘Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and all of them can bite’. – Ellevate, Contributor to Forbes Women.
Metaphorically highlights each individual regardless of their gender is capable of completing any job. Your gender does not determine the roles you are fit to do. However when competing for a position within an environment which is managed and owned by men, women may need to try that little bit harder for acceptance.
Some of the industries which are presently either dominated or mostly lead by men are the tech industry, oil industry, science fields, finance, construction and politics. Below are a few tips on on how to thrive in your entrepreneurship as a woman in all industries.
Continuously Attain Knowledge
Knowledge is of the utmost importance in order to grow a successful business. This could mean searching for course opportunities to help you access your desired field, whether through college, or university. Consistently studying and keeping abreast of new changes within your desired industry is vital to helping you to gain an edge over your competitors. Being one step ahead, and in the know will help prove your intelligence to potential business partners, and associates to encourage them to trust you, take you seriously, and help close business deals. Knowledge will also provide you confidence, which is another exceptional quality women entrepreneurs will benefit from, helping them to flourish within a male-dominated field.
Alongside studying the field you wish to enter, you should also branch out your reading to books on self improvement to help you apply the intelligence you have acquired. For example, reading books on charisma and self confidence will enable you to articulate and present your solutions to others. Equally, reading self improvement books, will enable you to advance as a person.
Coupled with building knowledge is the notion of gaining experience. For example, setting up a business within the oil industry could be difficult if you don’t already possess the expertise within this field. As a male-dominated field, applying your knowledge is one of the factors that could help you stand out above your rivals. Which is where studying for your field and reading self-help books will help give you the edge above your competitors. By continuously striving to improve your intelligence, you will be more equipped to research the resources you require for your own company and others. For example for industrial or construction projects you may research and source pipe work online from businesses such as www.varnerpipe.com.
There are studies to suggest females and males are raised to behave differently to one another. With the latter being encouraged to be assertive, and outspoken, the former may be prompted to be nurturing, and accepting. With this in mind you may not feel as a resilient as your male male counterparts. Which is why practising resilience will enable you to protect yourself from the barrage of adversity, stress, setbacks, and disappointments you could experience from attempting to enter a male-dominated field. Learning how to be resilient can be difficult if you’ve never felt this quality to be necessary before.
A few examples are:
- Never act on your emotions, wait for an overwhelming feeling such as anxiety or anger to pass before you make an important decision.
- Be kind to yourself through self-care to give regain whatever setbacks have taken from you.
- Get some perspective, by diversifying your work tasks to change your focus, and come back to a recent lousy situation with fresh eyes. Getting fresh air can also help clear your mind, and allow you to gather your thoughts.
- Disagreements will always occur within the workplace – keeping your composure helps display your professionalism.
Remain Focused And Aim High
Establishing a timeline, and pinpointing the industry you wish to tackle, your reasons, and values in alignment with doing so, the outcome you want from your hard work, and efforts will keep you focused on the end goal of helping your business to go the distance through all of the trials and tribulations of the journey. Your focus point will most likely adapt as time goes on, however having a string of short term and long term goals, to begin with, can help you to justify enduring difficult periods within your entrepreneurship.
Venturing into a field whether setting up your own construction company, medical science lab, or becoming a political leader takes courage. Continuously stretching your comfort zone can be one of the most fulfilling things you can do in life, which will, in turn, give you confidence in your abilities. Which for you could mean speaking up when you have a solution to a problem, asserting yourself in meetings and getting your voice, and ideas heard, it also means having the courage to make the decision to take risks in business in pursuit of great rewards. Courage can help you be the best version of you, help to excel your business in the face of fear, anxiety and drawbacks.
The above pointers might not come naturally, but they will develop on your path to building your business empire. For additional help, and inspiration in male-dominated fields, you can look to people such as Sheryl Sandberg, the first female on Facebook’s board of directors in 2012 and was named one of the most influential people on the Times Most Influential People list.
With increasingly more women running fortune 500 companies, the trend for female leaders is on the rise. However, a significant benefit of being an entrepreneur in business opposed to working your way up the industry ladder is that you can take comfort in knowing you are already the CEO of your own company. Coupled with applying your knowledge, resilience, focus and courage, you can persevere to becoming a success in in the face of adversity within any industry you please, whether choosing to break the finance industry or begin your career within the oil industry.