Here are some great tips on how to stand out in a male-dominated workplace when you’re a woman.
1. Stop apologising
It can be tempting to immediately utter a “sorry” every time the slightest thing goes wrong even if it’s not really your fault. This is a habit that needs breaking! Be assertive and confident in your workability and one great way to begin doing this is to try and stop saying sorry or at least notice every time you do and ask yourself “was that worth apologising for?”
2. Speak up as much as possible
In a group situation or meeting, it’s important for you to speak up and suggest your opinions on company issues and ideas. Don’t be disheartened if you’re interrupted, just continue to speak your mind as much as possible, and this will secure yourself as a valuable asset towards the team. Also try to speak in a loud and confident voice, avoiding speech fillers such as “like” or “um”.
3. Be a straight talker
One easy way to gain the respect of your co-workers is by speaking in terms of facts and solutions. If you’re prone to talking in more emotional terms or settings, sadly this can discredit you in the workplace as unprofessional. So speak your mind and set out what you want to say in as clear a way as possible.
4. Find someone to guide you
If you’re just starting out in the workplace try and befriend a more senior female employee. This can help gain you tonnes of inside knowledge and tips for that exact work environment and how to navigate it as a woman. It can be even more beneficial if the person you befriend works above you as they will be more inclined to suggest you for work opportunities or promotions, so get socialising!
5. Make use of your strengths
Say you’re working in a group of ten men and you’re the only woman, there’s something powerful about that because you will immediately stand out. In situations like this, a great tip is to use your stereotypically female qualities in order to gain influence, for example, focusing on building up workplace relationships will make you a vital part of the team, and you’ll be seen as someone that can be trusted with more challenging work.
6. Ask questions
This is a great way in which you can engage with your work colleagues. If you’re talking about something without initiating any connections with others in the room it can be easy for people to tune out. Asking questions is a great way to combat this as it will engage people in the conversation and make you appear more charismatic.
7. Use anecdotes and stories
If you want to develop a good bond with your work colleagues one way you can make yourself appear more relatable and interesting is by telling stories in order to get your point across. This way people are more likely to relate to what you’re saying and see your point of view if you are using storytelling or anecdotes in a workplace debate.
8. Don’t be afraid to ask for more
If you’ve worked beyond what is expected of you and put in all your effort into a job, don’t be afraid to ask for a raise. Of course, there is a right way to do this, be polite but firm in getting your point across as to why you deserve more and put the mentality of ‘I’m not good enough’ out of your head!