Being a woman in the workplace can come with some difficulties especially if you are a woman filling in a role that is generally male dominated.
Although most companies swear by the fact that they practice gender equality does not mean that all issues regarding gender equality are then disposed of. Let us explore the different obstacles that women in the workplace face and how to conquer them.
Her capability and competence is always questioned.
People often assume women are driven by emotions rather than rational reasoning and this makes it unfair when in a position where you have to choose between a male and a female for a particular role. Women find themselves having to defend their competence and having to prove that they are indeed capable more than a male co-worker would.
She is viewed as bossy and cold rather than formidable.
A woman in power is usually viewed as intimidating and has qualities that not many people are comfortable with engaging with. A man with the same qualities would not necessarily have the same encounter but would be regarded as a great leader and would also be easily promoted. Women are judged on their demeanor rather than on their efforts and end results.
She needs to work harder and longer to prove her worth.
In jobs that are male dominated women find themselves having to put in more work and effort to be taken seriously. The process of even getting into that role is also quite challenging since there are so many misconceptions about men being better at the role but when your experience and achievements speak for you there is no way they can turn you away.
Her warm and caring personality is misunderstood for weakness.
Women in supervisory roles who are known to have caring personalities
struggle to be taken seriously by other co-workers. They are considered to be sensitive and encounter attempts of being taken advantage of because of their caring demeanor.
Her strength is misunderstood for intimidation.
Women who have accomplished impeccable career growth are often perceived as intimidating. Having conquered several obstacles in her career and having escalated to the position that she is in should be an inspiration and taken at face value rather than being against her.
You can maneuver your way around the above mentioned obstacles by practising the following.
Don’t allow yourself to be intimidated by anyone.
Kill them with your competence.
Be a team player.
Build a positive reputation for yourself.
Embrace that you are a woman.
Stay professional no matter what.
Spark change to improve situations for others.
Focus on the positives and eliminate the negatives.
Know when to speak and when to listen.
Take the bad with the good and build yourself.
With that said, you have enough armour to take on anyone who stands in the way of your career so go out there and own your throne!
By Aqeelah Masango