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Shattering the Glass Ceiling: The Best Tips for Thriving in Your Career by Chelsea Lamb

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09.10.20

Women have made great strides in the workplace, but there’s still work to be done. Women remain underrepresented in management and executive roles, have less access to senior leaders, and are more likely to face harassment and discrimination at work. Women also continue to earn less than their male counterparts, despite the fact that women are more likely to hold a bachelor’s degree and negotiate for raises.

If you’re a driven woman, these statistics can be pretty discouraging. But while obstacles remain for women in the workplace, there are also lots of resources available to help women get ahead at work. These are the best tips, tricks, and resources to help you succeed in the workplace.

Asking for a Raise or Promotion

Women in the workplace have to learn how to advocate for themselves. However, it’s not enough to waltz into your boss’s office and ask for a promotion or higher pay. If you want to advance in your workplace, you need to be prepared to argue your case. These resources will help women take the next step in their careers.

  • Before asking for a raise, research the market worth of your job. From online tools to advice for talking to your coworkers about pay, these are the best tips for finding out exactly what you’re worth.

  • Women should also be prepared to demonstrate how they’ve benefited the company. While talking yourself up can be uncomfortable for some women, it’s possible to self-promote without sounding pompous.

  • All the self-promotion in the world won’t help if you don’t have the hard skills required for a job. Before going for a promotion, read open job postings at your company to understand the skills and requirements.

  • If you have the experience for a job but need more education, look for ways to upskill without letting your work suffer. Many professionals find that online degrees work best because they let you learn at your own schedule and pace.

Succeeding in Male-Dominated Industries

Landing that promotion may be harder if you’re the odd woman out at work. Women in male-dominated industries face bias that frequently shuts them out of leadership positions and career development opportunities. Some women cope by becoming “one of the boys,” but that only reinforces the very stereotypes that leave women behind. Instead of giving in or giving up, use these tips to move up in your male-dominated field.

  • It can be tough for women to be seen as leaders in male-dominated industries. In addition to confidently demonstrating their expertise, women should seek out male allies who can help them gain credibility at work.

  • Dealing with conflict is also a key skill for women in male-dominated industries. Instead of shying away from conflict, women should address problems head-on, speak confidently, and aim for transparency.

  • Communication can be especially challenging for women at work. Women who speak up are often seen as aggressive rather than assertive, the American Management Association explains. That’s why they’ve put together an Assertiveness Training for Women in Business course to help women communicate confidently.

Finding Female-Focused Support

Do you feel like you’re constantly swimming upstream? If you’re dealing with a difficult work environment, look outside the office for the support you need. Here are three places where you can connect with other professional women for advice, support, and career advancement opportunities.

  • Women-only networking events not only give women a chance to focus on the unique issues they face at work, they’re also an ideal place to find a mentor. Women can find industry-specific networking groups as well as general networking groups like Ellevate, She Runs It, and Lean In Circles.

  • Speaking of mentors, mentorship is one of the most impactful forms of support for professional women. While male sponsors can help women succeed in male-dominated workplaces, it’s equally important to have a female mentor who understands the unique challenges faced by women at work.

  • Coworking spaces are an excellent place for women to network as well, and Modernwell offers women-centered spaces to promote your professional and personal well-being. Not only do coworking spaces give professionals an opportunity to network with contacts from different industries, it’s also a place where women can focus on their work without worrying about office politics.

As a professional woman, it can sometimes feel like the deck is stacked against you. But while many obstacles remain for women at work, there are also more resources, opportunities, and camaraderie than ever. Rather than letting career challenges get you down, tap into resources like these to achieve the thriving career you deserve.

Article written by Chelsea Lamb – chelsea@businesspop.net

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