Here’s how to make the most of your skills, get recognised, and move up that corporate ladder.
Women have been going head to toe with and even outperforming men in almost all sectors. Even in the traditionally male dominated world of technology, women have been making their mark and there’s a large number of them in the workforce. However, the number of women in top corporate roles is quite less in comparison. Here are some ways women can tap into their strengths to take on the uphill struggle.
1. Develop your key skills
Instead of trying to match up to the stereotypical male traits that one is expected to have in a corporate environment, focus on building your own unique, natural qualities, which are your strengths. Women possess the gift of empathy and intuition, both of which are enormously invaluable in a high-tension environment, especially because it helps increase innovation and strategic marketing. Stand out from the rest and challenge the system by utilising the traits that are unique to you. If you’re good at problem-solving, hone that skill and develop your own method rather than the prescribed one. Do not follow a set of norms just because the majority accepts them. Use reasoning and judgement to take decisions, and build up your unique skill sets and learn how you can use them to achieve success.
2. Have confidence and faith
It’s difficult working in a male dominated environment, so it’s crucial you regularly bolster your confidence and not give in to self-doubt. Be confident about your abilities and skills. Your hard work, dedication and resourcefulness have earned you this position. And self-confidence is a trait all good leaders share. Lack of self-confidence can be easily spotted and it leads other people to believe you don’t have what it takes to do the job well. So projecting confidence in yourself. Speak up, voice your concerns, opinions, and insights as and when necessary. This will not only get you noticed but also add value to the work being done and your boss will appreciate it. So show your peers, your team, and your boss that you know what it takes to get the job done, are more than aware of your own merits and believe in yourself.
3. Be proactive instead of reactive
Opportunities in a corporate world often come to those who can create and grab them. So if you want a chance to succeed, you need to keep an eye out for such opportunities, so that you can utilise them to rise up through the ranks. Instead of taking action as a response to something, learn to be proactive and go the extra mile, showing that you aren’t afraid to put more hard work. Use these opportunities to build yourself a reputation for reliability, eagerness, and going above the call of duty if required. It will make seniors see you as a key contributor to the organisation.
4. Speak about your achievements
One of the most surprising reasons why women are often not recognised for their skills and contributions is that people are not aware of them. Men have a tendency to be a lot more enthusiastic and loquacious about their skills, achievements, and contributions in each and every thing that they do, compared to women, who speak very rarely about the things that they have accomplished. The only accomplishment that women have been found to discuss as much as men is team building, which, while being a great skill, is rarely the only thing they have to offer. Women also have a tendency to use “we” while speaking in any kind of business situation, instead of “I,” which men use almost always. The former, while being admirable, from the sense of promoting team spirit, can at times have a detrimental impact on women’s career advancement prospects.
5. Mentor other women
In a corporate environment where men heavily outnumber them, it is important women in senior designations mentor and guide those lower down in the order. By offering advice, support, recommendations and recognitions for their work, women need to encourage a corporate environment that has strong, successful women. That being said, it is also important that they also seek out and associate with both male and female mentors and peers, learning from them whenever possible, and using what they learn to advance their own skills and abilities.