my experience has been in the construction trades but I’m positive these tips are universal.
Nobody said this was going to be easy.
Here we are 2021 and women are still fighting for equal rights. Having the issues that we still have seems unrealistic. The tips on this article comes from experience. Not just mine. Read many articles reports other blogs like this one to make sure this advice is sound and highly recommended. Women paid for this knowledge and not in cash. Paid in tears, reputation, lost hours, and pride. Hopefully someone can learn from the mistakes of those that came before them avoiding having to feel shitty each time these issues come up and they failed to meet the demand. It’s ok to make mistakes. That’s one thing you really need to give yourself room to do. Ok let’s dive into the article.
1.Confidence is crucial
If YOU’RE not confident in your abilities then how can you expect anyone else to be. You’re a trained professional. You were hired to do said job. Girl, you got this. Straighten up your back, Make your presence big, Smile and go do your job. Also [this is a 2 part tip] be confident in who you are as a person. Know yourself. It is really easy to try to blend in more by changing your appearance and behavior to seem more manly and tough. The “tough guy” act only alienates you further. If you normally like to dress up like a girl then dress as a woman going to work. I work a construction type of job so I can’t be too girly but fitting clothes and a dash of make up do wonders for a girl’s self esteem. Plus it makes you look more put together. It also will help you feel more like yourself. This will also boost your confidence.
2. Stand up for yourself.
You know that saying the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Well in this that rings very true. You have to make yourself be heard sometimes. You may be quiet and mousey on your own time but working with men you’re gonna have to find your voice and make it heard. You may have to schedule a meeting with your boss or just stand up and make yourself be heard. It pays off having a big presence. Don’t be afraid to speak up, ask questions, or voice your opinion. It matters a great deal. In my career if you don’t speak up someone might get hurt or die. Those might not be the stakes at your job but everytime you’re heard women move fwd. Who cares if anyone thinks you’re a bitch?
“I believe anyone can conquer fear by doing the things he fears to do, provided he keeps doing them until he gets a record of successful experience behind him.”Eleanor roosevelt
3. Face fear head on.
Eleanor said it best. If you’re afraid of it then face it. Continue to face that fear till you no longer fear that thing. Fear is the biggest reason women aren’t reporting issues at work. I know this because I was too afraid to report an issue and it got so out of control it nearly cost me everything. Ladies if you’re being harassed or treated unfairly in any way you must go thru the proper channels and rectify the issue. It sets the whole movement back when things aren’t reported.
4. Keep detailed and dated notes
This is really important. It may not seem like such a big deal but everytime things weren’t getting written down it was needed. Everytime things were the notes were appreciated. Facts are best to be written as they happen. Dates notes that incidences have been documented in are used as evidence in a family court. Companies and unions tell us to keep detailed notes that are dated. They advise this for a reason. Take the advise and thank yourself later.
5. Keep your personal life to yourself
Do not share info about your personal life. This gives people room to find a way to manipulate or hurt you. Besides your coworkers do not care about your latest love interest or that your bff is dating 4 different guys. Keep that stuff for your personal friends. Work is for work and work related topics. Also do your best not to gossip. Believe it or not men seem to be the worst gossips. Just avoid that all together. It’ll keep you out of trouble.
6. Selective socialization
Like many of these tips selective socialization is just smart. There are many reasons for this to be applied when working with primarily men. First if all being too social will cause people to talk. Talk to much to a person suddenly your reputation is in question then you have a shit ton of new “work friends” be mindful of who you talk to and who is watching who you talk to. Secondly, as lame as this may sound that being too social will give a bad person more chances to find weakness to assert their own agenda. If someone wants to set you up or get you fired they will try to gather information. This may seem over board but it’s important to practice selective socialization.
7. Be aware of your surroundings
If you work construction you’re trained to keep watch for equipment and people, but this is different. You do not know who you work with really. You get around a group of men that are friends and coworkers they can plot against you. They will pump each other up. Something happens that is called Wolfpack mentality. These guys will believe they are protecting the others by trying to eliminate you. Be aware of your surroundings. You can likely catch something like this early with your detailed daily notes. Make sure if you notice a situation escalating that you speak to a superior and get it handled.
8. Mistakes happen. Learn from them.
I’ve yet to meet someone that didn’t mess up now and again. A few guys will demand perfection and if you don’t deliver they’ll ridicule you and use your mistake as a reason to say that’s why only men should be doing what you do. Back straight, head held high, and try again. You need to give yourself permission to make mistakes. If you’re also expecting perfection from yourself you will not be doing what you need to do for yourself. You’ll push yourself to hard. You’ll convince yourself you don’t belong there. Just don’t! Humans make mistakes. Learn from them.
9. Self care
Ok if your job is like mine there are times you could be working over 60 hours in a week. Cook dinner? I don’t think so. Forget about a shower. During those times rest seems like a fleeting memory. Friends are nonexistent in the rush season. All of the things⁰ mentioned are vital parts of our personal lives, no, vital to our very existence. Women we have to take Care of ourselves. If you’re feeling unwell take some time off. You should Take regular showers, Try to eat right, Exercise, and spend time with those you care about. Make time. Self care for mental and physical health are imperative to a long productive career.
10. Fight for equal pay
This has not been an issue for me but if it is for you try not to be afraid to fight. There are organizations and lawyers if necessary that’ll help you. Please know accepting a position in a job with mostly guys you have a responsibility, personal duty to hold yourself to a higher standard. Not just for yourself but for all the women fighting for equality. And we all fight. I may not fight for equal pay but I fight for respect and to be treated nicely at times. I’m lucky. The company I work for loves diversity and loves making a positive difference. But we fight against tradition and it is world wide.
11. It’s equal treatment not special treatment.
Something must be said about this before closing. We are not better than men. We don’t deserve extra. We want equal rights not more then the guys. No special treatment. Work hard, put in your hours, get your certs, and wear your ppe. Suit up show up and do the damn thing. You’ll not regret it.
Ok soooooo if you’re a woman and you work in a man’s world please share your story. If you’re anyone who writes and have knews or you just want to write an informative article about this subject please do. Until I’m funded any work is done as a gift per se. So if you bed practice this is the place.