Did you know that women make up almost 50% of the world’s population? Yet, less than 8% of Fortune 500 companies have women-led businesses in CEO positions. In engineering and M&E, only 20% of engineers are women, and yet 40% of them tend to leave their field of expertise.
Male-dominated industries like engineering can pose difficult challenges for women – from being treated like outsiders, to being looked down upon by their peers, or facing more subtle forms of bias. Even mentors or family members encourage women to join less technical, less-valued roles, as they have the misconception that certain industries can only be run by males.
Women in tech or engineering roles are constantly made to feel like they have to prove themselves, or struggle to have their voices heard. People – especially in Asian countries – are generally surprised to see women in industries like construction or engineering.
It’s not unusual for a woman to be questioned about their decision to become an engineer in the first place, which is not a question that would typically be aimed at male colleagues. This indicates that many people still think becoming an engineer is an unusual career choice for a woman!
It’s time to inspire and encourage women to stay in the industry, and even be the ones to lead it.
There has been some positive progress, but there’s a long way to go for true diversity across the engineering sectors. However if you’re a woman who is eager to step up and lead, here are 4 tips from us to lead a male-dominated industry.
In Asian households, we know it’s common for people to tell you that you’re unable to do certain things. However, whenever someone tells you that you can’t do something, be even more determined to succeed. Prove them wrong and pursue your passions despite social norms, and work to be the best engineering consultant in Singapore if you wish so!
Do What You Do Best
Focus on your expertise, and set out to do what you do best. Sometimes, there isn’t a need to branch out into industries or areas that you’re new to, or unfamiliar with. For example, if you excel in engineering consultancy, work tirelessly to be the best at it, and hire the right engineers to help you with areas that you’re unfamiliar with.
Choose Your Team
Avoid working with people who don’t want to work with you, either because of personal bias or professional differences. Work with those who value you for what you can do, and who are eager to see how far you can go. In the moments where you are working with someone who doesn’t see eye to eye with you, focus on the task at hand instead and get the job done. Ultimately, you’re not leading to make friends, but to bring projects to completion.
Talk To Mentors
Don’t shy talking to your peers or mentors, especially when you’re starting out in your career. To be an amazing leader, you have to learn from some. In engineering industries, you could even talk to site superintendents or construction foremen – you’ll be surprised at what you could learn from them about leading a team, project management and so much more.
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