Breedlove's Briefing: Five Tips to Help Female Leaders Thrive in Male Dominated Industries

September 17 - Stephanie Breedlove

Hi! I’m Stephanie Breedlove, Co-Founder of HomePay, Author and Angel Investor.

I absolutely adore taking an idea and giving it life in the form of a business, then leading it to its full potential. Nothing is more fun. (Seriously!) I’d love for every woman who wants to start her own business to say the same thing, so here I am, mentoring millennial entrepreneurs. When I’m not working, I like to recharge and head outdoors to hike, bike, or stand up paddle board!

Is that list of business news and trending articles you’ve tagged still unread? I get it. Allow me to help. Take a couple minutes to read my summary of articles serving the most pertinent, actionable business topics. Or, take 10 minutes to read the full article, and put another brick on the foundation of your growing career.

This Week’s Must-Read:

Five Tips to Help Female Leaders Thrive in Male Dominated Industries

Who it’s for:

Every woman. (We all want it to be easier to thrive.)

Why it’s important:

It’s hard to see new challenges before you experience them, and for many women rising into management roles, those challenges can feel like getting hit with a ton of bricks – on the job. Despite unique challenges that women face in male-dominated industries, many are thriving. Is there really a secret recipe to success? No, but learning from their experiences and strategies can be powerful.

Lauren Elmore, president of a company called Firmatek, learned through the school of hard knocks that it’s often more comfortable for guys to ride together for job site visits, have overnight hotel stays, and grab a beer together. One of her employees even told her it was inappropriate for her to do these activities with all male employees. It was then that Lauren realized this was her job, and there was no way she was going to stop doing what she loved just because she wasn’t “one of the guys.”

A study done by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender revealed women who watched The X-Files were 50% more likely to work in STEM. Wow. The visibility of female role models plays a significant role in creating this awareness, and the value of ‘seeing it to be it’ has been called the “Scully-Effect,” named after the show’s character Dana Scully, and the influence she’s had on a generation of women. Who is your real-life Dana Scully? (BTW: I watched Dana Scully every week religiously.)

You’ve got to act on your awareness with strategies that create success. Here are Lauren’s top five insights:

  1. Recognize the problem, but don’t dwell on it
  2. Learn as much as you can, as fast as you can
  3. Welcome tough questions
  4. Bring a male colleague with you
  5. Find your supporters

Top Take-Away/Final Thought: We can’t be a part of changing ‘the norm’ until we learn to succeed within it. We are the greatest force for change. So, open up and become aware, find your role models, and then be specific about your strategies to overcome and thrive.

Want a deeper dive on thriving as a leader? Check out these related articles:

-5 Tips to Becoming a Better Leader

-How Women Should Be Championing Female Leadership, Post #MeToo

-Women Matter 2, Female Leadership a Competitive Advantage for the Future

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