The world has long been a place where men thrive and women come second, but over the last 30 years or so, this has changed. The change has been gradual, but now we are seeing that women can enter into previously male-dominated industries and do just as good a job as men in these sectors.
Back in the 1980s, when women were really showing what they could do in the world of business, there was a belief that a woman had to be more masculine than a man to gain respect and prove that she could handle whatever her job entailed. The power suit was born, and women became hard-edged and hard-nosed, and they suffered for this, enduring snide remarks and antagonism from their male colleagues. Fortunately, that era has passed, and women have realised that one of their chief advantages is actually their femininity. This is not to say that a woman can be soft and fluffy when at work, however. In fact, studies have shown that women who do possess what are considered masculine traits, such as aggressiveness, confidence and assertiveness, are better adapted to a male-oriented environment, providing that they can turn these off and become more feminine when they need to. Studies have also shown that this ability makes women even more likely to succeed than men in such an arena.
Not just in the office
It would be misleading to think that women are simply taking their places only in the office. The truth is that women are increasingly undertaking roles that have traditionally been thought of as men’s work. For example, more women are becoming truck drivers, train drivers and bus drivers, though the numbers are still significantly lower than men in the same jobs. Women are also making strides when it comes to taking risks and using their brains to make quick and easy money. For example, many women are becoming professional poker players, sitting down at the green baize cloth – or in many cases, sitting down at their computer to play online at sites such as 888 Poker – to play games of chance and skill, gambling with their money and beating other male players to win big in the process.
No need to wear a cape
Part of this adaptability in male-oriented job sectors has come about because women have understood that they do not need to be a superhero, or rather a superheroine, and bear all the responsibility of the work themselves. No person, man or woman, possesses all the skills necessary to run a successful business, and women have learnt that it is actually better to delegate responsibility than to try to do everything oneself, and thereby do it badly.
Apart from being an emotional chameleon and learning how to delegate, just how are women succeeding in male-oriented sectors? Basically, by being themselves to a greater or lesser degree and understanding that making a business successful is a team effort, that no one achieves such a thing alone. Positivity is important to success whether you are male or female, but it is not simply important to possess this trait oneself. In business, you need to surround yourself with people who are equally positive so that motivation is never a problem. Humour will play a big part in this positive outlook and is great for boosting morale, so a woman who allows her team to have a laugh and a joke will be doing her best for the business.
Give a little
You also need to appreciate and reward your team with encouraging words and sometimes material goods. Philanthropy is also a big watchword for any business wanting to succeed these days, and it is important that you consider your immediate local community as well as your team and arrange ways for the company to give something back.
Never stop learning
Finally, you should never stop learning. Enrol on courses to keep up-to-date with sector trends and developments, and always be ready to explore and be creative with your business. You need to have an innovative mindset, ready to brainstorm fresh ideas with your team and move forward.
It is true that some business sectors are still dominated by men, but this could be the fault of women who believe that barriers to their entry still exist. Many women have proved that they can do the jobs previously thought of as being a man’s. All that they had to do was decide to go for it.