I think it can be very intimidating to be in a room much less work with all males. For years, wars were waged over equality. I love that we have come so far in fighting for equal rights. But equal rights doesn't always equate to equality in all areas of the workplace. It's International Women's Day today. A day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Check out their Facebook Page.
A wise woman said YEARS ago something that rings so true to this day and has a lot to do with ones level of confidence.
This simple rule is easier said than done, but will help you tremendously in the long run if you live by it.
Let me be the first today I feel very fortunate to be in the workplace I am because I feel safe, heard, and equal, but for some I know this can be a challenge. I've often been asked how I feel working with a majority of males and after years in this workplace, I feel I can share a few things that may help others feel more confident in their workplace and in life.
1. Know Your Stuff
Don't "fake it till you make it". All that gets you is questions and builds a lack of confidence from others in your abilities. I used to "sell" my dad on the things I wanted like curfew, or a pager (yes, i'm old). But I always researched what the economics were, the impact or value to him, what his position might be on it and had a very defined end goal of what I wanted to accomplish. You really can never be "too prepared" but it's easy to blow an opportunity if you are not prepared enough.
2. Let Your Roles Be The Advantage
As a mom especially, it's often thought that you can't have the best of both worlds. I think that's a lie we often tell ourselves. Because I'm a mom I can't lead in the corporate world. Because I want to volunteer I can't work on moving up the ladder. Let your "other roles" be your advantages. I know as a mom I pride myself on being able to keep all the details organized. The play dates, the meals, the sports, it's a lot of juggling but its also what makes me be able to juggle a lot of balls at work and stay dependable in the eyes of my company.
3. Don't Give Up Your Power
Going into a meeting or conversation is about what you BOTH are bringing to the table. Don't assume a thing. Don't assume a "no". Don't assume they have the upper hand. You are capable and have something of valuable to offer. Bring your "A" game an assume a role of confidence and strength. Maybe you are asking for money. You don't need to assume the role of "needing" it but instead present it as a worthwhile investment based on the distinct advantages and benefits you found for your interested party from step 1.
What you have to say is important.You are strong. You are capable. You are powerful. Know that and believe that as you walk through various situations in life or into the confines of a meeting room.
Check out What Parenting Taught Me About Leadership.