3 Tips for Businesswomen Working in Male-Dominated Industries

3 Tips for Businesswomen Working in Male-Dominated Industries
Lani Dizon

By Lani Dizon

The boardroom, a scene dominated by suits and ties, is now a space echoing with the rise of powerful women. While the playing field isn’t entirely level yet, women are shattering glass ceilings and forging their own paths to leadership in traditionally male-dominated industries.

But, navigating these environments requires a unique set of tools. According to statistics, women’s representation in the financial services industry has remained flat at approximately 48% for over a decade, and only six out of 107 financial institutions in the United States had female CEOs. This data highlights the reality: while women are entering these fields in gradually increasing numbers, true parity in leadership roles remains elusive.

This is where you come in. Women like you are forging your own paths to leadership, bringing fresh perspectives and diverse experiences to the table.

Here are three powerhouse elements that will propel you forward. By taking these steps, you can overcome common challenges faced by women in male-dominated industries and ensure your voice is heard and valued:

1. Have a Never-Give-Up Attitude: It’s natural to compare yourself to others, especially in male-dominated fields. Oftentimes, women attribute their success to luck rather than skill. However, dwelling on this belief hinders your progress and downplays the unique value you bring to the table.

Remind yourself the core reason that motivated you to be in your chosen field and stay passionately focused on positive contributions and achieving targets. Acknowledge and celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small. This reinforces a positive mindset and motivates you to keep striving. Remember, every obstacle presents an opportunity to learn and grow — with any challenge, there is a solution.

Here’s how to cultivate a never-give-up attitude and silence that inner critic:

  • Focus on Your Growth: Instead of comparing your current skill set to someone else’s, track your own progress. Celebrate how far you’ve come since entering the field. Did you master a new technical skill? Did you overcome a challenging project? Recognizing your own growth journey fosters confidence and keeps you motivated.
  • Learn from Others, Don’t Compete: View successful colleagues as inspiration, not competition. Actively seek opportunities to learn from their experiences and expertise.
  • Find Your Cheerleaders: Surround yourself with positive and supportive people who celebrate your accomplishments, big or small.

2. Believe in Yourself and Embrace Your Talents: Recognize and celebrate your unique strengths. Your unique talents and perspectives help reinforce your value in a male-dominated field — your communication style, leadership approach, and problem-solving lens. Confidence is a muscle that gets stronger with use. Your ideas and perspectives are valuable. Speak up confidently and clearly, avoiding self-deprecating language or apologizing for your contributions. By actively celebrating your strengths and consistently putting yourself out there, you’ll cultivate genuine self-belief and command the respect you deserve.

Here’s how you can leverage your strengths:

  • Seek Out Mentorship Opportunities: Look for individuals with expertise in your desired areas and approach them with a genuine interest in learning from their experience. This will also help you identify your hidden strengths and capabilities.
  • Skills Gap Analysis: Conduct a self-assessment to identify areas where your strengths can be further developed. Consider online courses, mentorship programs, or professional development workshops to hone your skills and expand your knowledge base.
  • Networking and Collaboration: Seek opportunities to connect with professionals who share your strengths or complement them. Building a strong network allows you to learn from each other and advocate for one another’s expertise.

3. Stay Adaptable and Resilient: The road to success in any field is rarely smooth. The key lies in developing adaptability and resilience – the ability to adjust to changing situations and bounce back from setbacks. Embrace open-mindedness and navigate bias with grace.

Here’s how you can cultivate these essential qualities and navigate challenges

  • Active Listening: Actively listen to colleagues’ perspectives, even if they differ from your own. Ask clarifying questions and seek to understand their viewpoints. This fosters a collaborative environment and allows you to learn from others’ experiences.
  • Embrace Diverse Teams: Value the unique perspectives that diverse teams bring to the table. Different backgrounds and approaches can lead to more creative solutions and innovative thinking.
  • Be Prepared: Anticipate potential biases you might encounter. Research common unconscious biases in your field and consider how they might manifest.
  • Develop a Support Network: Surround yourself with positive and encouraging people who believe in you. Talking to friends, family, or a therapist can provide a safe space to vent frustrations and gain a fresh perspective.

Closing Thoughts

The truth is, success rarely comes easy. Navigating your career path can feel like an uphill climb at times, and that’s true for everyone, regardless of gender or industry. For women navigating traditionally male-dominated fields, the path may be steeper. Maybe it’s that voice in your head whispering, “You don’t belong here,” the feelings of isolation within professional settings, or implicit biases. But here’s the good news: By embracing a “growth mindset”—the belief that your skills and knowledge can develop through effort—you can turn these challenges into stepping stones.

Don’t wait for someone to hand you a seat at the table. Step up, be heard, and claim your rightful place. Your unique perspective and contributions are vital to any organization’s success. Remember, every win, big or small, paves the way for the next generation of women to thrive in any field they choose.

About Lani Dizon

Lani Dizon is a visionary entrepreneur with over 30 years of achievements in empowering people globally in entrepreneurship, health, wealth, and personal development. Starting her entrepreneurial journey at a young age, she built her first distribution network of 120,000 people by 20 and launched her first global enterprise by 25. With co-founded companies in health and beauty care, life enhancement, personal development, and women’s empowerment, she has significantly contributed to global business development, branding, and marketing. Recently, Dizon has made strides in the cryptocurrency and blockchain arena, co-founding Zenza Capital and the RYO Project, pioneering a Layer-One Blockchain from Japan aimed at simplifying cryptocurrency adoption.


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