How to Succeed—and Thrive!—in Male-Dominated Industries

From the record number of women elected to political office in 2018 to the success of the #MeToo movement, women have made great strides toward equality and a more inclusive culture in the workplace. Still, industries that are overwhelmingly male present particular challenges as well as opportunities. Our panel of female entrepreneurs shared with us how they address these challenges and what they do to thrive in their environment.

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At our February breakfast, our panel of female entrepreneurs shared with us how they address these challenges and what they do to thrive in their environment. Some key takeaways:

  • Men play contact sports; women play finesse sports. Leverage qualities such as superior intuition, agility, and communication skills to better understand client needs and lead more effective teams.

  • Address 'mansplainers' calmly, forcefully, and with grace. State your knowledge firmly and directly—you know more than they do.

  • Set goals. Do a vision board—it will help you to articulate what you want and change your subconscious patterns of thinking in a positive direction.

  • Be direct with coworkers and your team and establish ground rules. People will push boundaries, so set the tone and lead by example.

  • There's no such thing as 'work-life balance.' There's just life. Find the thing that gives you peace—workout, therapy, meditation, girls' night—and schedule it as you would a client meeting.

  • Be prepared, be genuine, and be authentic—clients and coworkers respect someone they can trust, and these attributes build credibility.

  • Build a support network of both men and women who respect you. Engage with those who lift up, not punch down.

Above all, let your haters be your motivators. It's a small world and karma is real—people may not remember all you do, but they will remember how you made them feel.


Click here for more information about our panelists.

Lucy Andersen