Despite the number of working women increasing, many still face workplace discrimination. Women are often paid less, get less responsibility, and receive few promotions than their male counterparts. Women who speak up at work may be called‘ stubborn,’ ‘bossy,’ or ‘insubordinate.’ Their ideas are often not taken as seriously as if they had been given by a man. Despite these challenges, many women still aspire to succeed in the workplace. Follow these five tips to assert yourself and your ideas in the workplace.
1. Find a role model
Especially if you just graduated or started a job at a new company, it can be hard to find where you fit in. Having a role model to look up to and act as your mentor will give you direction. Your role model doesn’t have to be another woman, just someone who you identify with in your work. Try to choose someone who fits well into the company culture and is well-versed in their role. This way you can mimic their actions to create your own success.
2. Come prepared
Show up every day prepared and ready to go. Unfortunately, being a woman in a male-dominated environment means we have to do our job better to be noticed. Being over-prepared and ready to handle any workplace situation can help keep you from being underestimated. If you’re presenting at a meeting, know your lines inside and out so you don’t get tripped up. Double-check any facts or statistics so that if you get questions, you can confidently answer them.
3. Leverage your strengths
Leverage your individual strengths to find a niche in your workplace. Some people are empathic and understand how others feel without needing to be told, while others are great at public speaking or computers. Once you discover what you’re best at, you can learn to leverage that in your favor.
4. Don’t be afraid to speak up
Bullies in the workplace are often no different from the ones we encountered in school. If you stick up for yourself, they’ll usually back down. Often asking a question like “why do you think that” will make your coworkers stop and think about their actions. Many women fear coming across as too strong or bossy in a workplace, but those traits can become positives as you look for promotions. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. And if you are having real trouble with some people in your workplace, go to HR.
5. Have confidence
The most important thing is to have confidence. Don’t ever apologize for doing your job or taking up space. Remember, you were hired because you have the talent to help the company succeed. Believing in yourself will help you stay true to your values and not let the actions of collogues affect your work. Square your shoulders and take on the world!
Being a working woman can be hard, don’t let the people around you get you down. Follow these five tips for workplace success and confidence.