Being part of a male-dominant work environment can certainly prove to be quite tough. For many successful women, ‘making it’ professionally means mastering the art of staying headstrong in male-dominated workplaces.
Women working in such offices face numerous issues, and it can get even rough when your boss prioritizes your male counterparts.
To avoid falling prey to these microaggressions of gender discrimination, here’s how you can stay wilful in your working environment.
Excelling in male-dominant offices
Don’t be afraid to say ‘No’
Often times, when you’re working in an area where there’s a majority of the opposite gender, you might feel the need to say ‘yes’ to every extra task you’re assigned, even if you don’t need to. This comes down to guilt-tripping and the need for approval, the two features that are imposed on women.
Getting on your boss’s good-book is necessary, and so is getting along with your co-workers, but don’t feel pressured to say yes to every extra task you’re asked to do. If you disagree with something or someone, make it clear that you do, and don’t be afraid to explain why.
Don’t stay quiet about harassment
Unfortunately, women often have to experience harassment and discrimination, and it’s way too normalized and common than it should be.
If your gut is telling you that a colleague made you uncomfortable, or you’ve experienced an instance of harassment, you are right. Go to the higher authorities, and let your complaint be known.
Speak up against discrimination
If you feel like you’re being discriminated against, and something like this would never happen to your male colleagues, then call it out. If you feel comfortable and ready, then speak up. But even when you decide not to, don’t ever doubt your own experiences.
Support other female co-workers
The stress of working in a male-dominant society can get to you. But, don’t let it get in the way of you supporting other women around you.
There are many things you and your female co-workers will have in common. Talk about childcare, maternity leave, wage and other things.
In an environment where you’re out-numbered, it is necessary that you support and uplift women around you. Come together, and support eachother in everyday conversations, tasks and interactions. Remember: your opinion is louder in numbers.
Accept all the praise and appreciation you get
Women are more likely to accept responsibility for fault or criticism than they are in accepting praise. Taking credit can be difficult, and it gets even harder when you’re surrounded by men.
When your employer praises you, or appreciates your work, accept it. Allow yourself to accept your accomplishments. You deserve praise and growth. Own every single appreciation that is thrown towards you.
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