How to Succeed in a Male-Dominated Workplace

How to successfully navigate the 'boys' club'

From feeling isolated and dealing with unfairness in pay to struggling to gain the respect you deserve at work, some women face an uphill battle when it comes to succeeding in male-dominated industries.

 

(Image: iStock/XiXinXing)

 

For ways to succeed as a woman in business and tips for excelling in a  male-dominated workplace, we tapped human resources executive and entrepreneur Joan G. Wilmer for advice.

 

What’s the one thing that many women do that may block their success in the workplace?

Taking things personally and managing personally are two things that many women do, which can block their success in the workplace. Remember, business is business. 

 

When it comes to career advancement for women, what do you think is the most overlooked or undervalued skill?

Women are great strategists. We tend to see things that others easily overlook, and we know what steps should be taken and when. In other words, women have a natural intellectual meter for carefully calculated movement. We are also great at driving for opportunities. We know how to find an opportunity within, especially in those environments where innovation is a key strategy for organic and future growth. Women have been regarded and stereotyped as emotional leaders by men. However, studies led by The Catalyst organization have found that women are more passionate about their work when compared to men, and our pursuit [of] perfection has positively impacted organizations around the world.

 

What’s the most important quality that a woman needs to be successful in a male industry?

Relationship management and emotional intelligence are two important qualities women need to be successful in industries that have been deemed a “boys’ club.” Men lead and manage according to the genuine relationships they are able to garner with their fellow leaders. This includes relationships, and people, they can trust. Emotional intelligence allows a woman to know her[self] and any personal triggers so that she may effectively navigate among her peers and in complex environments.