3 Ways to Empower Yourself as a Woman in Business


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Though things have improved for most women in the business world over the years, not all women get the respect they deserve at work. Men earn more for the same work, are more often promoted to higher leadership positions, and CEOs are more often men than women.

While there are frustrating gender inequalities women face in the business work environment, there are, fortunately, some things women can do to feel more empowered in business.

Dress for success


Appearances are crucial in business, and unfortunately, women often have to be more mindful when it comes to crafting a professional presence. Sticking to casual attire and neutral colors will not take away from your authority, but rather command respect. Try to stay away from clothing that is revealing, as some may interpret that as a lack of professionalism.

Pair together timeless pieces like dress slacks and a dress shirt, or even a skirt and sweater combo with comfortable dress shoes. Whatever you feel most confident in, try to ensure that your outfit follows your workplace’s dress code and that you can work comfortably in it. There are plenty of places to find business casual attire for women, so have some fun looking around and finding high-quality business casual outfits for work.

Aside from your clothing, the way you carry yourself is also crucial for people’s impression of you at work. Maintain good posture, keep eye contact with people when they talk to you, and respect your peers if you want to make a great impression.

Be prepared


To gain your coworker’s or employees’ trust in you at work, make sure you have all the tools you need so you can do your job correctly. If people come to you with questions, it’s crucial that you know the answers (if that’s your job responsibility). It’s important to know what your coworkers and employees expect from you, so staying up-to-date on your job responsibilities is crucial.

For example, if your job includes tracking employee data and key results, you’ll need to use software to track OKRs. Knowing the most reliable OKR software to use will ensure your employees trust you with any questions regarding key results in the future since you’ll have a record of accurate data.

It’s also useful to have a good relationship with your leadership team and human resources in case any blatant discrimination does present itself. Having positive relationships with trustworthy people in charge will prepare you for any unfortunate future disputes.

Be confident


One of the best ways to feel empowered is to be confident in your abilities. If you aren’t entirely sure in your work environment, do your best to act like you are. Speak up when you have an idea, introduce yourself by your job title, and encourage your male peers to greet you by the same, and don’t be afraid to volunteer for new projects. Making yourself known for your self-confidence and enthusiasm will help you build a reputation as a useful employee. Know your strengths and use them to your advantage.

Also, keep internalized gender stereotypes in mind. If you often clear dishes after a lunchtime business conference, consider that it may be enforcing the gender stereotype that since you’re a woman, your job is to clean after the men. While it’s well-mannered to help with workplace chores now and then, don’t allow your male peers to expect you to do historically “feminine” tasks just because of your gender– especially if you’re an upper-level employee. Demand the respect you know you deserve.

While women in business still face gender inequality at work, there are things they can do to empower themselves. Being appropriately dressed, knowing how to do your job efficiently and correctly, and being confident in yourself can allow you to feel equipped to handle anything in your work environment.

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