As women make great strides in the modern workforce, they may find themselves the lone female in their male-dominated place of work. This can be a tough situation to navigate, especially when privy to harassing or discriminatory behaviors. Despite these challenges, women can succeed in these environments, according to The Muse.
It’s often hard to make your voice heard at work, especially when you’re the only woman in a team meeting. In this case, you could be missing out on great opportunities, ones that your male colleagues aren’t shy about claiming. A little bit of assertiveness can go a long way in this instance. Make sure you’re speaking up when a project is up for grabs, so you can be considered alongside your male counterparts. Keep in mind that even if you’re overlooked in one instance, your boss may remember your drive and motivation when the next big project rolls around.
In the same token, it helps to have a mentor to lead you through the process. Finding a mentor is not always easy, but you can expedite the search by being friendly with higher-ups, including senior management and bosses. Mentors serve two important roles in a business setting. They help you by providing insight on business happenings and procedures, but they’ll also put a good word in for you with peers and managers. Having your own personal cheerleader is a great boost when you feel isolated by being the only woman in a department or office.
Finally, don’t be so concerned about serving the needs of others, especially when it’s not in your job description. While it’s important to be amenable at work, some workplaces rely on female employees for things like picking up lunch or making coffee for a big meeting. If these tasks are distributed equally among your colleagues, it makes sense to do your part. However, if you find you’re being asked to fetch lunch on a frequent basis, it may be time to discuss the matter.