13 Expert Secrets & Tips to Survive/Thrive in Male-Dominated Office

Revealed: Most Challenging Male-Dominated Fields for Women

1. Research- Mostly Men

It is very hard for women to thrive in this field as it is male-dominated

2. Science – Highly Competitive Field

There are significantly more men than women in science careers

3. Law- Majorly Male Dominated

Law is one of the most male-dominated fields

4. Technology and Computer Science- Popular Field for Men

There are only a few women working in tech, which is traditionally a male job.

5. Construction – Few Women

There are significantly more men than women in construction

6. Banking – Moderately Competitive

Banking is one of the most male-dominated fields

7. Plant Mechanic- Few Women

You are likely to come across all-male teams

8. Medicine- Moderately Competitive for Women

It is very hard for women to thrive in this field as it is male-dominated

9. Electrical and Mechanical engineering

There are only a few women working in engineering

10. Waste Management -Few Women

You are likely to come across all-male teams in waste management

11. Automotive Manufacturing -Few Women

There are significantly more men than women in the auto industry

Read: Best Careers and Job Types for Moms

Can Women Thrive/Succeed in Male-Dominated Field

Many young moms who are new in fields that are traditionally reserved for men feel that working in a male-dominated career is too hard and many give up. While a woman working in a male-dominated field is challenging, it is still doable.

A working mom can succeed and excel in fields and careers that are mostly reserved for men such as science, law, tech, engineering, and research among others. It is very possible

One of the key issues is that women worry that they may not fit in when they are working with male colleagues and bosses. Also, women worry that working with colleagues who are male has a different working culture.

However, all these are challenges women can overcome when working in an all-male team or office. 

Expert Secrets & Tips to Survive/Thrive in Male-Dominated Office

Expert Secrets & Tips to Survive/Thrive in Male-Dominated Office

1. Grow your Confidence & Competence- helps you Outstand

Confidence is very important working in a competitive environment such as all-male teams. You need to come across as sure, confident, and competent in your work. The confidence will earn you respect and less disrespect from the men. 

Don’t be afraid of speaking up in a respectful way. Speaking your mind in a respectful way makes you seem confident. So many working women are very quiet for fear of rocking the boat, but you need to stop this in order to thrive in your career.

Learn to present your work in a certain way. Don’t hedge or apologize upfront. Just do your best work and then pretend you’ve grown up with male privilege and people assume you’re competent. By doing so you will manage to succeed and thrive in an all-male work environment in a professional way.

Realize that the job doesn’t know the gender of who is doing it, and there will come a time when you’re the one who can answer questions and fix problems that other people can’t. When that happens, you will be recognized.

Dominate conversations that involve your subject area. Always speak up in meetings, even if it is to ask a question.

Read: How to Celebrate International Women’s Day in the Office

2. Call out Female Discrimination and Micro-Aggressions from Men

Do not let disrespect and discrimination against you go unaddressed. Continuing to allow men to disregard and respect you in your work because you are a woman is unacceptable.

Speaking out against disrespect and other vices in the office shows a great level of self-confidence in yourself and your abilities, and showing a level of optimism about your work environment. It will help flourish in your career despite working in a traditionally male job. 

Some men may try speaking to you in a paternalistic tone, interrupt you or marginalize issues. You must be aware of these microaggressions and be ready to call them out and stand against them when it happens.

Doing so will create a healthy work environment for you and you will succeed working with all men.

Read: How to Handle Sexual Harassment at Work

3. Speak & Stand Out More to thrive in Male-Dominated Field

If you are working among more males than women, you will need to be more outstanding. Moms who work in male-dominated fields say they did not feel heard or seen. As such if you want to thrive in a male-dominated career, you must speak out and stand out more than the males.

The presence of all males can be overwhelming, and that is why you need to stand out. You can do this by contributing more to meetings. If you are in a team of all males, make an effort to be seen and heard more by making more contributions, giving input, and making suggestions among others.  

Expert Secrets & Tips to Survive/Thrive in Male-Dominated Office

4. Aim for a Leadership Role for a Male Team

One of the ways you can succeed working in a male company or field is by being a leader. As a leader of a male team, you will have more advantage and exposure in being seen and acknowledged. Holding any leadership or managerial role will give you a chance to showcase your passion and abilities to the influencers in the field. 

One of the things you can do include to get a leadership role are by sitting at the head of the conference table. Be assertive. Also prepare before big meetings and say something profound and positive early in the meeting.

When you do that, you will fit in well and thrive in the field even if most of the employees are male. 

5. Prove your Credibility to Survive Male-Domination

When working in a male-dominated field, you will often feel like you are not being taken seriously as compared to your peers. When you are only one of the few women in a male-dominated career, you will need to come across as professional and not manipulative or take advantage of the gender gap that exists. 

As such you must prove your credibility by being professional. You should be effective and efficient in how you handle your job. You must be productive and your performance must illustrate that you are a valuable employee or member of a team.

By doing so, your worth is a show of credibility and not just granted because you are a woman. You do not need to be extra competitive with the men. Avoid the drama and just do your work exceptionally well.

  • Accept criticism with grace; try to better yourself from it. Acknowledge a mistake. People will respect you and believe you the next time since you are proven to be honest. By doing this, you will flourish in any male-dominated work environment.

6. Use Strategic Confrontation to Correct Men

If you are having discrimination issues at your workplace because you are a woman and most of your employees are male, then you can handle this strategically. To thrive in a male-dominated field as a woman, you need to be strategic about and confront any form of discrimination or mistreatment that you are facing. 

You must learn how to appropriately respond to the stereotypes while maintaining a good perception and likeability among your peers, which is crucial to success in a male-dominated career.

  • Call out the men you feel are being disrespectful or discriminative of you as a woman. The docile woman act doesn’t work. Use facts and ask the men to explain their actions that are discriminative of you. 
  • Take initiative and do things without being asked to. If the men gain respect for you for being smart, a self-starter, and a good employee, they will not be talking down to you regardless of your gender.

7. Rally for Policy Changes to Support Women in Male-Dominated Office

There are unlikely to be any changes at the workplace without policies. If you are working in a male-dominated field with few women, then you are unlikely to have policies that address gender discrimination. 

Therefore to thrive and succeed in this male-dominated environment you need to advocate for policies or changes that address these challenges. Policies will direct how male peers will treat you as a woman. As such it is one of the things to do to ensure that you thrive in your career in a male-dominated field. 

You may find that discriminating against or mistreating women is seen as normal. Hence get rid of your need to be liked altogether if you want to be successful in an all-male job and replace it with a need to be fair.

8. Make Male Allies/Friends in the Office

As a woman, you will need allies or friends to manage working in a male-dominated field. You will need people who understand and are capable of standing up for you. These are people who are ready to defend you in your absence. 

One of the ways you can avoid the disrespect and discrimination that comes to women who work in male-dominated areas is by having influential allies and friends. If you are friends with a few influential men, other men will treat you most respectfully.  

Such allies and friends are very crucial as they will help be on the good side of most of these men. Also, the allies will tell off other men who are trying to be disrespectful and discriminative.

Expert Secrets & Tips to Survive/Thrive in Male-Dominated Office

9. Have a Support System to Succeed Working with Males

You also need a social support system to help you navigate the dynamics of working in an all-male team. Talk with sympathetic people about issues you are having. Whenever you can, talk to your partner or close friends about these challenges that you are facing at work. 

Also, find a supportive group of women in your field. It helps your career to have friends who are women in male-dominated fields. They don’t have to be in your field to be able to completely relate to the kinds of things you experience at work.

You can join groups or communities online. By doing so you will gain a good perspective about how you will address them and succeed working in a male work environment. 

10. Find a Mentor to Help Grow your Career

A mentor is very important for your career whether you are in a field that is gender-balanced or male-dominated. But having a good mentor as a woman working in a male-dominated field is very important. They will help you not lose track and focus on your career plan and goals. 

Your mentor will guide and help you navigate all the challenges that women faced against men in the workplace. They will help you pick which battles to drop and which battles to drop. 

11. Correct and Stand up against Discriminative Female Work Stereotypes

Most all-male work environments are full of stereotypes. In order to thrive as a woman in this work environment, you need to set the record straight. You need to stand up and correct the discriminative stereotypes that men in the workplace use against women. 

Use facts and logic to correct any misleading stereotype that may make it hard for you to thrive in an all-male workplace. Some stereotypes include that women are always moody, less intelligent, etc. 

Stand up against these stereotypes and protect women who may be disrespected and discriminated against by them. When these stereotypes are addressed, you will have better chances of surviving and thriving in an all-male work environment. 

12. Learn Good Communication Skills to Survive Working with Men

To succeed in an all-male work environment learning effective communication skills is very important. Nothing beats good communication skills and the ability to communicate with your peers. You will need good communication skills to explain and pass on information between you and your male colleagues. 

You must learn to be effective in communicating with your peers, especially about work. When you are feeling that you are being disrespected and discriminated against because you are a woman you need to have the right words and ways to communicate this to your peers or your seniors. 

  • Your communication must be respectful for you to earn respect back. Your communication must be kind and emphatic to earn empathy back from your male peers.
  • Also while working and communicating with all men, do not get emotional. Your tone is very important. Be pleasant, professional, direct, fair, and firm. Do not engage in passive-aggressive issues. Do not call summit meetings over petty indifferences.
  • When engaging in conversation, keep it to a minimum and professional. Make sure you have all the information before approaching anyone. Have all facts and information before you speak to the male coworkers so they don’t have a reason to be disrespectful or dismissive of you. 
  • If interrupted, simply repeat yourself once they are finished. If needed, restate your point more than once. Do this as many times as necessary. Acknowledge the point made politely but then continue what you were talking about before. 
  • Also, be respectful of the men as well. Listen to them when they talk and take notes. Do NOT interrupt during meetings, but if you have something to say wait for an opening and say it concisely. All this will help overcome the overwhelming boys club and thrive in your career. 
  • If you have an issue with someone, immediately address it one on one, calmly. Rehearse ahead of time and prepare your answer to the worst-case response. Regardless of the outcome, thank them for their time and move on.
  • You must move on and let it go. Do not dwell on issues you can’t solve. Follow up pleasantly with kindness on a different subject within 24 hours to show that you have moved on and to smooth out the relationship.

All these things will help them have an easy time and succeed working in jobs traditionally reserved for men. 

13. Draw Firm Boundaries

When working in an all-male environment there will be many times and ways that the men will test you and see how far you can stretch. It can be through words, actions, or other things that are communicating sexism, or disrespect among others. 

To thrive working in a male-dominated field you need firm work boundaries. Lay down your boundaries early and let everyone know their behavior towards you will not be accepted. Don’t blush and fake laugh. They are testing you. Draw the line early. 

Working in a male-dominated industry as a mom is about standing your ground. Don’t be afraid to call the men out if and when they cross the line. It’s a fine line between being abrasive and being rude. 

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