I work in a company that’s 67% men and in the industry of tech that’s dominated by men. Salesforce is committed to equality and growing diversity at the company over the next few years (something I am so grateful for). However, it’s obvious the industry as a whole (and other respective male-dominated industries) need to continue advancing the cultural change we need.
As we work towards that, women need to work on what we can control – and that’s how we present ourselves in the workplace. When we are faced with the prospect of raising our profile and gaining recognition in the workplace, it is important to own more of who we are and what we have to offer. It’s critical to stand out and make yourself known, especially in industries and companies that are male-dominated. Read on for ways you can below!
Realize Your Value
Working in a male-dominated industry and company can be intimidating and uncomfortable. This can affect our confidence, especially when we find ourselves the only woman in the room. However, instead of focusing on the gender difference itself, capitalize on the value and strengths you bring to the table. When you start focusing on that instead of the men in the room, you realize how much power you have.
If you don’t believe you have anything worth saying or contributing to, why would others think so? Recognize the value of your opinion. Believe that what you have to share is worth listening to. Speak up so you can gain the attention and respect you are seeking. Also, if it ever gets to a point where you feel disrespected, remember your power to speak up then too. Don’t ever, ever let the male-dominated aspect of your company get to you. Your voice deserves to be heard.
Find a Male Sponsor
Don’t work against them, work with them! Get to know the men in your company and identify ones with whom you can develop a strong business relationship. Let them get to know you and understand the value you provide. Having a reliable male sponsor in your corner aids in career growth conversations and promotions – especially if they are in a leadership position.
While men are socialized to be strong and confident, women are expected to be modest, selfless, and advocate for others (but not ourselves). That modesty and uncomfortable feeling we get can lead to us denying or downplaying credit for our successes. This is detrimental, especially in the workplace, because if we’re not advocating for ourselves, there’s a good possibility no one is. And that ultimately can mean fewer opportunities, fewer promotions, and fewer raises. Make sure you are promoting yourself and accepting credit when it’s due. Find out how to effectively and successfully self-promote (without rubbing people the wrong way) in the workplace here.
Kelly Nash is a Chicago-based writer, career coach, speaker and founder of Lipstick & Ink®. She also works full-time in technology as a Role Strategy and Employee Engagement Manager at Salesforce and has over 12 years of digital marketing experience. Kelly has been featured in Thrive Global, Chicago Tribune, International Association of Women, General Assembly, Salesforce, and SheFactor. She’s fueled by black coffee, sunshine, a good ink pen, and a bold lip.