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Navigating A Male Dominated Workplace As A Young Female Professional

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Wednesday, July 29th, 2020
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Young female professionals in male-dominated industries are oftentimes faced with myriads of issues as they navigate their way to the top.  Some of these issues can be attributed to factors such as gender stereotypes, societal beliefs on the capabilities of women among other issues. The struggles of women in male-dominated industries can be frustrating sometimes as these professionals sometimes struggle with being taken seriously by their male colleagues, hence they are sometimes allocated less challenging tasks in the workplace which creates the impression that they were hired to fill up space which presents them as a token employee hired by the organization to make them appear to be socially responsible and not gender bias.

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Sometimes, the allocation of smaller roles to young female professionals has an adverse effect on their growth within that organization as well as the acquisition of required experiences they need to advance in their career which can be detrimental. However, the difference in pay between male and female employees regardless of being given equal responsibilities limits the potential of female professionals despite being tenacious and determined. Regardless, female professionals in the Nigerian corporate and public workspace despite all the odds are rising to the occasion by taking on important roles as exemplified by some notable female professionals.

The culture of male-dominated workspace is sometimes designed in a way that alienates competent and talented female professionals in a tactful manner which is most times not visible but is ingrained in their practices and operations. These practices have raised concerns in both corporate and popular discourse with varied level of intensity, young male and female professionals are most times recruited at equal numbers; however more male professionals seem to be making it faster to the top of organisations faster than women. The operations culture of some organisations urges and encourages the hiring of single female professionals with the excuse of wanting employees who will dedicate their time to the firm, some organisations even take pride in laying down strict laws on the number of years required before a female employee can get married but the same rules do not apply to male employees. Hence, a young female professional looking to building a family and a successful career is left with little or no option.

Interestingly, this issue has been in existence for a very long time despite its portrayal in movies, novels, and articles are still ongoing despite the growth and advancement in technology and education.  Movie lovers who have watched the movie “Think Like A Man” featuring American actress Taraji P. Henson can probably relate to some of the concerns and issues that female professionals face in a toxic work environment in a male-dominated workspace.

Noteworthy, to mention is the notable and formidable presence of male professionals in workspaces that are typically regarded as female-dominated, the beauty industry, for example, houses a substantial amount of male creatives which has undoubtedly changed this narrative in a positive way due to the reception that they have received and the level of attention being accrued to them. Besides being diligent at one’s work, to excel in a male-dominated workspace; a young female professional should deploy useful tactics that will help her succeed in the organization such as not being too easily triggered by male colleagues, building respectful relations with colleagues, making your aspirations known to male colleagues by being vocal so they know that you are not a pushover, know how to take a stance on important teamwork by being objective and contributing substantially to tasks and projects, be assertive about decisions and concerns, build networks within and outside the organisation.  The quest for equal treatment in the workplace is achievable and attainable, thus, female professionals need to be assertive and objective about their concerns and needs while highlighting their value and how important they are to the organization.



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