5 Tips For Women To Thrive In Male-Dominated Work Environment
Passionate Mentor &
Schuyla Goodson, Operations Vice President of Northern Area, Cummins Pacific Region, is all the above. She shares her 5 tips for a healthy work, family and life balance. (1)
1. The Eyes Have It
Men are visual – there is not one study (that I could find) that says something different. If you want men to focus on your substantive presentation, business case, new product launch or briefing, you will need to limit visual distractions. You need the men and women in the important meeting laser-focused on your work.
Consider pulling hair up or back. Refrain from neon nails from the weekend. Think twice about testing vibrant shadows, lipsticks or mascara.
Always look the professional part of your industry, and make decisions that reflect the audience and purpose of the engagement.
2. The “TOOs” have it
A simple guide to leaving it in the closet and not wearing it to work: if one of your good friends would say it’s too tight, too short, too long, too loose, too see-through or too bright, it’s time to leave the dress, pants, blouse, suit or ensemble for a night out on the town.
Keep the “toos” out of the office.
3. What game are we playing anyway?
In male-dominated environments, finding the right guy to be a part of your mentoring circle is critical. Even more important will be ensuring that your Mr Right Mentor can actually be a champion. In the words of one of my advisors: “You can mentor 1 000 people, but you can only champion a few.”
4. Girl up!
Check out girls under the age of seven or eight, especially those on the football and rugby field, the basketball court and in the swimming pool. They are often fierce competitors – strong, determined and focused. Don’t forget the early cyclists, ballerinas and artists; they, too, are a force to be reckoned with. What most of these girls have in common is that no one has told them they can’t, and they have strong adult support. Girl up as a woman in the workplace.
5. Women – Get along
The word on the street and in the office is that women in the workplace are easily offended, especially by men. Keep your cool and check your reaction to ensure you are not being oversensitive.
If something offends – be it racist, sexist, sexual – get help if you don’t feel you are equipped to confront the concern right then and there. In certain situations, you can use the event to educate and transfer knowledge.