Published on March 3rd, 2017 | by Nancy F. Clark0
The Secret Of Success In A Male Culture Workplace
By Dr. Renee Dua—
While women have made significant gains in the American workplace, stats show there still aren’t many women in high-level leadership positions. So how can a woman succeed in a male-dominated career? As a Chief Medical Officer and founder, I’m often asked some variation of this question in interviews. Here’s my advice to young professionals on how to succeed in the workplace.
Focus On The Work
I’ve always used my mother’s words as my mantra. She always said, “When you’re doing the right thing, the rest will follow.” That means I focus on the work first, and I believe this is a useful philosophy regardless of sex, race, or class. Working hard has no gender distinction. A hard worker with drive, determination, and vision will stand out. Even though barriers for women exist, don’t focus on the limitations. Work hard, think hard, and look forward. Do the hustle.
Attract The Right Attention
The workplace is not always a meritocracy, unfortunately, but I do believe it’s hard to ignore good work. When you show up on time, when you look professional, when you are well-read and up-to-date in what’s going on in your field, then people around you will take you seriously. Taking pride in your work is about self-respect—it’s a reflection of you. And it will affect how others respond to you. In my profession, I always keep in mind that my decisions and commitment to excellence affects my patients, colleagues, and my organization.
Speak Up When You Feel You Are Right
Most of the time, I believe that focusing on doing an excellent job is the primary key to success in any field, regardless of gender. However, there are times when you should speak up and speak out. If you know your purpose and have built credibility doing good work and focusing on the “right thing,” then you will get where you want to go. Don’t overthink your “place” when in this situation, as you will have earned your seat at the table.
Having goals, speaking up, and being aggressive is still sometimes socially unacceptable for women. You might face discrimination when your peers see you overstepping or unsettling the accepted power dynamic. Breaking through the glass ceiling means that you don’t allow their words, intentions, or ambitions hold you back. Look and move forward with purpose when you know you are on the right path or doing the right thing.
Embrace Your Strengths As A Female Leader
There are certain strengths that many female leaders have, and one is certainly having had to work harder and better to rise to the top. But there are other skills that can make women better business leaders. Women are often skilled multi-taskers, juggling family and home responsibilities and understanding how to prioritize and mobilize. If communication is your strength, then you can be more effective at leading your team and inspiring and motivating them to do their best work. Know what your strengths are and use them to improve your success at work.
The most important takeaway here still points to the work. Focus on your goals and capabilities and not the obstacles that may hold you back. Yes, barriers will come along on the journey to success, but focusing on where you want to go will help you will succeed in breaking through them. There’s room at the top. There’s room for you.
Article photo by iStock