Succeeding as a woman in the male-dominated world of tech fields can be a challenge. But we’re here to help. Are you poised on the brink of navigating the engineering workplace? Read our 6 tips for women starting out in the engineering field.
Advance Your Career
Be prepared to work your way up the ranks to acquire the skills and experience you need. No one starts at the very top of the ladder. It’s a process that you need to follow to get to your final goal.
There are sacrifices one has to make to achieve success – hard work, difficult bosses, long hours.
Consider your personal needs. Do you have a family? Discuss the need for demanding work hours with them so they understand and support you. But don’t neglect the need for a healthy work-life balance.
That being said, to get ahead in the engineering industry, you can’t go wrong with a Master’s in engineering management. It’ll make all the difference further down the line when considering applying for a leadership position.
Build A Network
Whether you’re trying to progress your career in electronic engineering or any other engineering field, there’s one thing you must always remember. To make the most of your work, you need to network as much as possible.
While this is true of all fields, it’s especially relevant in engineering and tech.
Joining professional organizations is always a good move, but networking also takes place in your specific work environment. Reach out to colleagues and other professionals while attending related events as a team.
Networking allows you to meet others in the technology field and exposes you to different opinions. It challenges you to make unique and valuable contributions. And it also helps you to feel a little less lonely when starting a new career.
Emphasize Your Strengths
Recognize your greatest strengths, and emphasize them wherever possible. This also builds your confidence and self-esteem, both of which are needed to succeed in any career. The engineering sector is no different.
Communicate these strengths (and any special skills) in your resume, and at your job interview. And don’t be afraid to put them to the test when working on team projects.
It’s the best way to get recognition from your peers and the financial reward that you deserve.
As you continue on your career journey, you’ll develop new strengths and skills. Be sure to regularly update your resume to reflect on them. In this way, any future moves to a new company will be that much more promising.
Build Your Confidence
Confidence is key when trying to break into a male-dominated industry as a woman. When you believe in your abilities, others will too.
One of the easiest ways to build confidence is to join in on group activities and talk to people. This doesn’t necessarily have to entail public speaking appointments, although that certainly does the trick!
Start small by voicing your opinions when you and your team are asked for contributions. If a project team leader position is open, go for it. It’ll do wonders for building your confidence and experience.
Overcome Gender Biases
Gender bias has some pretty far-reaching consequences. It’s a leading contributor to the wage gap between men and women and even plays a role in the perceived financial literacy gap.
But how do you overcome it?
Unfortunately, gender bias in the workforce is taking quite a while to disappear. Women in engineering fields have been fighting discrimination and bias for many years.
But great progress has been made, and you can be a part of it. You don’t have to accept intolerance or discriminatory practices at work.
Speaking up about the issue, and offering constructive resolutions will not only pave the way for future female applicants but also earn the respect of your peers. Remain objective and respectful when addressing any issues of workplace bias, and communication about it will be a lot more productive.
Find A Mentor
Finding a mentor in your chosen field is one of the best things you can do when starting your career. Even after years of chipping away at that glass ceiling, many women still struggle to break into the STEM fields. Which is why women need mentors more than ever.
How do you go about finding a mentor?
A good place to start is amongst the senior staff at your workplace. They have years of expertise and most of them will be only too happy to share their knowledge.
Don’t fear that asking for advice and support will be seen as a weakness. Realizing the need for guidance is, in fact, a show of maturity and strength.
A wise and patient mentor may be just what you need to help you get your career path in technology on the right track.