Women in male-dominated industries, such as construction, face unique challenges and obstacles. This article puts together some of our top tips to help women excel in their careers in construction. Here are six habits that can help women in male-dominated industries stay on top:
Building a Support Network
One of the keys to success in any industry is building a support network. Women in construction can benefit from seeking out other women in the field and connecting with female mentors who can provide advice, guidance, and support. Having a network of peers and mentors can help women feel less isolated and provide a sounding board for challenges and obstacles.
Here are some tips to help you build a strong support network:
- Connect with female peers: Attend industry events and conferences, join professional organisations, and participate in online forums and discussion groups to meet other women who work in your field. By connecting with female peers, you can share experiences, exchange ideas, and offer each other support and encouragement.
- Seek out mentors: Finding a mentor can be incredibly helpful in navigating the challenges of a male-dominated industry. Look for female leaders in your field who have a track record of success and approach them to ask if they would be willing to mentor you. Consider reaching out to alumni from your alma mater or seeking out mentorship programs offered by professional organisations.
- Build relationships: Building strong relationships with your peers and mentors takes time and effort, but it is well worth it. Regularly check in with your peers and mentors, attend networking events, and participate in professional development opportunities to deepen your relationships.
- Stay connected: Keep in touch with the women you meet in your support network, even if you move on to different companies or careers. Staying connected with your peers and mentors can provide valuable opportunities for professional growth and personal development.
- Be a supportive peer: In addition to seeking support from others, consider offering support to other women in your industry. By being a supportive peer, you can help build a strong, supportive community of women in your field.
Maintaining a Work-Life Balance
Women in male-dominated industries can experience high levels of stress, making it even more important to prioritise self-care and maintain a healthy work-life balance. This can involve making time for hobbies, friends, and family, and engaging in activities that provide a sense of relaxation and rejuvenation. By taking care of themselves outside of work, women in these industries can better manage stress and perform at their best on the job.
Here are some tips to help you prioritise self-care and maintain a balanced life:
- Set boundaries: Establish clear boundaries between work and personal time by setting specific work hours, turning off work-related notifications outside of work hours, and making a conscious effort to disconnect from work when you’re not on the clock.
- Prioritise self-care: Make time for activities that bring you joy and help you recharge, such as exercising, meditating, reading, or spending time with loved ones. Taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental well-being is essential to perform at your best on the job.
- Practice good time management: Effectively managing your time can help you fit more activities into your day, including work and personal pursuits. Consider using tools such as a to-do list, a calendar, or a productivity app to help you stay organised and focused.
- Seek support from others: Don’t be afraid to lean on your support network for help. Whether you need a shoulder to cry on, help with a project, or someone to share your experiences with, your peers and mentors can be a valuable resource.
- Make time for fun: Make sure to have fun and enjoy life outside of work. Whether it’s taking a dance class, playing a sport, or going on a weekend trip, taking time for yourself can help you recharge and come back to work with renewed energy and focus.
Seeking Out Training and Professional Development Opportunities
Continuous learning and development are essential in any industry, and women in male-dominated industries can benefit from seeking out training and professional development opportunities. This can involve taking courses, attending workshops and conferences, and staying current on industry developments. By continuously improving their skills and knowledge, women in these industries can advance their careers and make valuable contributions to their teams and organisations.
Here are some tips to help you continuously improve your skills and knowledge:
- Identify your areas of interest: Consider your goals and aspirations and identify areas where you would like to improve your skills or gain new knowledge. This can be a specific skill, such as programming or project management, or a broader area of expertise, such as leadership or strategic thinking.
- Research opportunities: Look for training and professional development opportunities that align with your areas of interest. This can include taking courses, attending workshops and conferences, and participating in online learning programs. Consider reaching out to professional organisations, your company’s HR department, or your peers and mentors for recommendations.
- Invest in yourself: Investing in your professional development is an investment in your future. Consider allocating a portion of your budget or savings towards training and professional development opportunities, and prioritise these investments over other discretionary expenses.
- Take advantage of on-the-job learning: Your workplace can also be a valuable source of professional development. Seek out opportunities to work on challenging projects, lead teams, or take on new responsibilities to grow your skills and gain experience.
- Stay current: Stay informed about industry developments and trends by reading trade publications, attending industry events and conferences, and participating in online discussion groups and forums. By staying current, you can ensure that your skills and knowledge are relevant and up-to-date.
Building resilience can help women in male-dominated industries increase confidence and overcome obstacles they may face. This can involve practicing stress-management techniques, such as mindfulness and meditation, and seeking out support from family, friends, and co-workers. By building resilience, women in these industries can stay motivated and focused, even in the face of adversity.
Here are some tips to help you build resilience and cope with adversity:
- Cultivate a growth mindset: Embrace challenges as opportunities to grow and learn. Instead of dwelling on setbacks and failures, focus on what you can learn from them and how you can use that knowledge to improve and succeed in the future.
- Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness and meditation can help you stay focused and calm in the face of adversity. Take time to slow down, breathe, and be present in the moment. This can help you gain perspective and respond to challenges in a more resilient and effective manner.
- Learn from challenges: Reframe challenges and obstacles as opportunities to learn and grow. Ask for feedback, reflect on your experiences, and identify areas for improvement. By learning from challenges, you can build resilience and increase your ability to cope with adversity in the future.
Staying Physically Fit
Physical fitness is essential for demanding work in construction and other male-dominated industries. Women in these industries can benefit from regular exercise and a balanced diet to maintain the physical strength and endurance required for their work. Engaging in regular physical activity can also help reduce stress and improve overall health, enabling women in these industries to perform at their best and stay safe on the job.
- Incorporate exercise into your routine: Make time for regular exercises, such as strength training, cardio, and stretching. This can help you build and maintain physical strength, improve endurance, and reduce stress.
- Eat a balanced diet: Consume a diet that is rich in nutrients, such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. This can help you maintain energy levels, build muscle, and improve overall health.
- Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and maintain physical and mental energy.
- Get adequate sleep: Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night to recharge and restore your body.
In conclusion, working in a male-dominated industry can be challenging, but women can thrive and succeed by incorporating specific healthy habits into their daily routines. From building a support network and maintaining a work-life balance to staying confident and physically fit, women in male-dominated industries can overcome challenges and achieve success by focusing on their well-being and professional development.