We’ve all heard about the old boy’s club, but when you’re a woman it can be hard to find the right connections to help you climb the business ladder. What’s a girl to do?
Whether you’re a female entrepreneur striking out on her own and looking for connections or just trying to land a job in the male dominated corporate field, women today aren’t all on their own. The networks exist if you know where to look. If you’re ready to improve your job prospects, these are the avenues you’ll need to take.
Find A Mentor
Successful women with experience in the business world are often looking to pay it forward and help younger women find their way. Reach out to women in your field and find a mentor who can teach you the ins and outs of the industry. This doesn’t have to be a huge commitment for either of you – just a chance to talk about what works, what doesn’t, and the general experience of being a woman in the business world. Make it a monthly lunch date and you’ll be amazed how much these chats can help.
Learn The Language Of Recruiters
Many positions in the business world are filled by recruiters or other agencies that pre-check and recommend people for varying jobs. And because of the gender imbalance in many industries, recruiters can be just as uncertain about how to work with women as you are about how to work with recruiters. You may need to step out and approach them.
In some cases you may want to work with for profit organizations that specialize in your industry, but you can also approach the problem of recruiting by looking for professional organizations in your desired field. Most major fields have a women-specific organization that can help you find a great position.
Don’t Be Afraid To Flip The Tables
Women often have a hard time climbing the professional ranks because they unnecessarily take on historically feminized roles that hold them back, such as a primary responsibility for childcare or other family responsibilities. If you want to make it in the corporate world, however, you’ll have to reconsider the distribution of these roles.
Some industries have been working on improving their ability to retain women by becoming more family friendly, but this is still somewhat uncommon. Instead, learn to prioritize your professional investments. You can be a good wife and mother and still work, but you’ll have to give yourself a break and insist that other people like your husband can fill these roles just as well.
Women trying to climb the ranks need to be willing to put themselves out there, seek networking connections even when they aren’t immediately obvious, and flip the tables on issues like family responsibility. Positioning yourself as a professional leader may not be the easy road, but it’s time to shatter the glass ceiling, all of us together.