Women Working in Male-dominated Industries

Twenty or 30 years ago, seeing women in hard hats leading construction crews through a project or skilled craftswomen fusing together the structure of a downtown office building was a rare sight indeed.

Today, those doors to working in commercial real estate and construction are now open — even though many admit it’s been a slow transition for the industries and for some women, as they were forced to struggle against discrimination on the job site and in the business world.

Many barriers have been broken, but there are still chances to explore new territory in nontraditional careers, where less than a quarter of the workforces are women.  According to some women working in male-dominated careers, women need confidence, resolve, ambition and the perseverance to prevail over challenges.

I think an important step to making for an easy transition into a male dominated industry is to socialize with them. It may feel like you’re crashing a fraternity party, but make your best effort to socialize with your male co-workers in formal and informal situations. Whether it’s tagging along for lunch or drinks after work, important information is exchanged informally; being there to hear it may benefit your career.

While attracting and hiring qualified women in male-dominated industries can prove challenging, if it is handled well it can benefit the industry, and be a positive experience for all employees, male and female alike.

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