How to Stand Out As a Female in a Male-Dominated Industry

How to Stand Out As A Female in a Male-Dominated Industry

When you think of certain professions, a man just comes to mind. In fact, it’s almost difficult to imagine a woman in such a role or industry because it’s not perceived as ‘the norm’. But women are taking up space in EVERY sphere and strata of work or influence, even in those traditionally seen as male-dominated.

Women are making significant contributions in various fields from engineering to carpentry, finance, education, science, entertainment, fashion, tech, and beyond.

However, navigating a traditionally male-dominated industry as a female professional presents unique challenges and opportunities.

This is why in this blog, we will delve into the intriguing question: What sets you apart as a woman in these fields?

Female photographer - female in a male-dominated industry

5 Ways to Stand Out as a Female in a Male-Dominated Industry

You can take control of how you show up in your workplace and in the world. Here’s how to pull it off.

Be Excellent at What You Do

Everyone notices outstanding performance. Excellence is something that will spotlight you. Whether you’re a techie, an engineer, a furniture maker, a regional manager or a videographer, being undeniably good sets you apart. 

What is excellence hinged on? Discipline! 

“All excellence involves discipline and tenacity of purpose”, says John W. Gardner.

The challenges in certain industries may be more difficult to overcome for women than men but with discipline, grit and dedication, you can be excellent at what you do.

Excellence isn’t female or male, it’s human. But when a female excels in a predominantly male industry, she shuts down stereotypes and disbands tropes.

Confidence and assertion in a female in a male-dominated industry

Be Confident and Assertive

Confidence makes anyone look like they know what they’re doing, even if they don’t. You create a lasting impression and reinforce that impression every time you display confidence. As a female in a male-dominated industry, you’ll stand neck to neck with males who may be more qualified or underqualified in your field. Be bold in airing your views especially if it has to do with your work.

Be a peacock! Don’t shy away from owning the space you’re taking up. Don’t shrink yourself. You’re in your field because you have what it takes or are building the necessary skills you need to excel. Add confidence to that mix and you’d shine in your field.

Produce and Show Results

Results speak louder than claims or assertions. To earn respect as a professional, you need to “show workings”. Noone can deny results when it’s visible for all to see. Let your work herald your excellence as one to be reckoned with.

Whether you’re working in a firm or as a standalone contractor or you’re a jobseeker, produce results and show them. Use percentages and numbers to measure your results. 

Since men are mostly associated with actions, producing results and getting the work done is sure to lift you up among your male counterparts.

Actions speak louder than words, afterall, right?

Have Male Allies

Woman with male ally in the workplace

As a female in a male-dominated industry, you’ll usually collaborate with men. Despite the unspoken push to compete with colleagues, collaboration is the more excellent way. 

Having male allies could mean asking them for help when you’re stuck, helping them achieve their goals and being generally helpful.

People, both male and female, respond kindly to collaboration and alliance rather than competition and dissociation.

So, make friends in your industry and workplace. That way, you have more hands to lift you up the ladder, right?

Be Yourself – be unforgettable

An authentic woman stands out in male-dominated spaces

In a world where people tend to mirror other people, you’ll shine when you show up as your authentic self.

Embrace and express your uniqueness provided it does not hurt your performance or the perception people have of you. If you have a peculiar style or speak differently, leverage it. Let it be what separates you from the pack.

Be unforgettable.

Every woman who has ever made a mark in a “man’s world” earned her place. To stand out as a female in a male-dominated industry, be excellent, be assertive and confident, produce and show results, collaborate with your male counterparts and be unapologetically YOU!

Thelma Nwosu
An eclectic content writer and storyteller, leveraging psychology, PR & effective marketing strategies to bridge the gap between brands and their audience.
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