Everyone knows that the business world has been and still is mostly male dominated and driven. Unfortunately, women make on average 79 cents for ever dollar a man makes. At all of my previous places of work, there were more male employees in positions of power and more men on staff all together. Heck, even in the dance world men are paid more and treated better than their female counter parts.
As a young professional, I find that my age and gender can be a huge hinderance in career opportunities….if I choose to let them be a hinderance. I have found that as a female in a male dominated workplace I have to learn to adapt, be observant, and always stay on my toes. I have also found a few tips along the way that have helped me earn more respect in the workplace from my male coworkers.
Here are my best tips for women in the workplace.
Always Look Professional
Although men can be considered professional in an ugly collared shirt, cheap dark wash jeans, and sneakers, women do not have this luxury. I have found that the way you dress greatly effects first impressions and can alter how the foundation of any relationship. Take the extra time to always look presentable and you will set an expectation for garnering respect from men and women in the workplace.
Never Tell Your Age
So you have a uterus and your in your early twenties….the first is a given but the latter can be kept a secret. Don’t discuss your age with coworkers, bosses, and clients because honestly it’s none of their business. Neither your sex or your age has anything to do with your ability to perform in the workplace.
Don’t Be Affected By Rude Remarks
Many women lose out on opportunities, raises, and respect in the workplace because they do not want to be seen as a b*tch. Unfortunately if a man is outspoken, passionate, and headstrong they are seen as an excellent employee but a woman is seen as a terror. Don’t let small-mindedness ruin your career. If you are called names because you are excellent at your job and don’t take no for an answer, you can laugh yourself to the bank and let those comments roll right off of you.
Natural born leaders who happen to be born women are bound to ruffle feathers at some point. As long as you do so with grace and kindness no one will have a bad word to say about you. Don’t gossip, don’t put others down, and don’t bring up gender inequalities to justify any actions.
Don’t Get Emotional
If you are an emotional woman like myself, it is easy to get hysterical when you put a lot of time and energy into a project and it doesn’t go as planned. Don’t let your emotions lead you to actions you will regret and words you can never take back. Take a deep breath and get out of the office for a quick coffee break. Crying or yelling is never a good idea in the workplace and can make you seem irrational even if you are the most level headed woman on the planet.
I hope women in the workplace can be seen as equals one day. I am thankful to the women in my life who have helped me in my career path and shown what it is like to be a fearless business woman. Be the change you wish to see in the workplace.