Leading the Way

7 tips for women working in a male-dominated field

Women and men see the state of women in the workplace differently.

Men are more likely to think the workplace is equitable, while women see a workplace that is less fair and offers less support. According to the 2017 McKinsey & Company Women in the Workplace report, inequality in the corporate pipeline starts at the very first promotion.

The Women’s Leadership Institute at the University of South Carolina is working to solve this issue by providing a safe space for women in leadership roles from higher education institutions in South Carolina to come together.

In April, Colonial Life sponsored the 15th annual event that hosted more than 420 participants for a day of workshops and networking. Guest speakers focused on promoting greater awareness of the challenges and opportunities women face as they seek to achieve a work/life balance.

One of those speakers was Charlene Glidden, the vice president of business planning and technology strategy at Colonial Life. As part of a senior team in a male-dominated field, Glidden shared lessons of partnership and building advocacy, which she says are necessary when working surrounded by men.

“Often the gremlins that keep women from being their best selves are the hardest barriers to overcome,” said Glidden. “It’s dealing with those self-doubts as much as other doubters that can mean the difference between success and failure.”

Here are seven tips Glidden shared for succeeding in a male-dominated field:

1. Self-talk to diminish self-doubt.
2. Work smarter and harder than everyone around you.
3. Make time to take care of yourself.
4. Behave like what you are – a woman.
5. Gladly accept when men show you the respect they were raised to give.
6. Celebrate and advocate for other women.
7. Speak up and ask for what you want!

While being a woman in the workplace, and specifically leadership, can be challenging, taking ownership of who you are may be the most critical step in laying the ground work for future career advancement.

Tags: | | | |