Even though women today are in leadership positions they never dreamed of being in 60 years ago. Women still have challenges when a they are a leader in a male-dominated industry.
More and more women are making moves into positions historically dominated by men and finding that the higher they climb the more alone as a woman they are.
In these traditional occupations such as; Finance, Law, Tech and STEM industries, women face the challenge that they stand out more as a women amongst many men. However, they can also be less visible being ignored, interrupted or excluded in the male environment.
If you’re a female leader, especially in one of these industries then these tips will help you rise above some of your challenges.
Create Alliances With Decision Makers
My clients come to me because they’ve been put down, pushed aside, or overlooked. It’s not easy to feel you’ve been undervalued. I suggest to these female leaders that they start to build healthy relationships with advocates, colleagues, mentors and other decision makers.
By creating these alliances you will have support when you’re in the room and someone speaking up for you when you’re not.
2. Find Your Confidence
If you’ve been placed in a leadership role, then those higher than you saw something of value that you have to offer.
Armed with the assurance of knowing you earned the role you’re in. Speak confidently and make decisive choices. Don’t work so hard at pleasing others that you let them walk all over you.
Tackle any Imposter Syndrome by making accurate assessments of your performance and asking for feedback to back it up
3. Overcome your Perfectionism
Research has shown that women are more risk averse than men and as a result often want to ensure everything is perfect to avoid failure.
However, many of the female leaders I coach get paralysed by their perfectionist tendencies. It causes them to procrastinate or totally avoid making a decision.
Physically walking away from the problem if you are stuck and focus on another task until your mind has calmed and they have the intuition to move forward.
4. Handle Inappropriate Behaviour
What is unacceptable behaviour to one person is not to another, so it’s important you have identified what your personal boundaries are around how colleagues or clients behave towards you.
Whether it is harassment, bullying, inappropriate comments or exclusion, by men or women. Are you prepared to speak up, call it out or make a complaint?
Many female leaders find it scary and uncomfortable to speak up. however, communicating to others when they breach your boundaries is important not just as a principle but also to maintain your self-worth and self-respect.
5. Trust Your Own Voice
Have you ever had the thought “Who am I to…?” It’s a question that regularly crops up when I talk to clients about what holds them back from speaking up.
Remember that you are one of the most successful, wealthy, educated women on this planet and you have been given your role for a reason. Trust and use your voice.
If you’re looking to feel recognised, valued and fulfilled at work. Then I’d love to share with you some strategies that are specific to your career needs and that will have a huge impact on your career.