“Dreams and goals can become magnets. And the stronger the goal, the higher the purpose, the more powerful the objective the stronger this magnet is that pulls you that direction.” Jim Rohn.
Yesterday I had a conversation with a friend and it was long discussion centered around challenges women are faced with in their profession.
Earlier my boss was having the same conversation with me and in her opinion she felt one of the major barrier for women in their profession is biological, especially in terms of pregnancy and breastfeeding, she said “it seems we inherited the nature of job practice which makes some jobs preferred for men and some jobs termed feminine task”, she also said “maybe it is the way we are brought up and the society” as she wondered why a lot of women are not in politics, even in her own country.
I shared with her the Nigerian and African narrative on how gender roles and stereotypes has been part of our upbringing especially in terms of domestic behaviors, occupation and personality. We kept on discussing comparing cultural differences, but we are happy about that more women are trying out new possibilities, setting examples and speaking up about gender equality.
Then, at the evening time, my friend, who is an engineer brought up the conversation of how the engineering sector is seen as a male dominated industry, especially in her field as a civil engineer. Sharing about her inability to break into the space, getting her dream job and fulfilling her purpose.
In as much as I agreed with her, I came up with a strategy with her from her discussion, “imagine while in school, most of these female engineering students are seen as role model, the are resilient and most time top of their class, at some point, some of them get free entries to attend conferences and events but after graduating they are seen as weak vessels”, she said.
So, I said to her, this could be an opportunity for you to break into the space,
1. Imagine you design a plan, say you want to use your LinkedIn and let say start a blog to share your experience as her engineer through stories in the next three months.
2. Optimize your LinkedIn and start following people that matters in your industry on the platform. Connect with them in terms of your values you are bringing to the table.
3. Ensure that you connect with this people, especially through your stories article that you will be sharing on the platform, I also said to her, can you ensure each episodes of the stories or articles comes with your own opinion and conclusion how to solve the challenges women are facing in the industry. While asking your audience to contribute what they think can be done, especially female who have made it to the top. You can get their audience to interview them and share their life experiences if they give you the consent.
4. What about the option of volunteering with a company in your field, you leverage this as an opportunity to build your own career while waiting for job, I told her, do you know most of these companies would rather prefer to employ their own valuable volunteers, or through a referral or network of friends in that industries before they sometimes do consider people who came in with application?
5. I shared my volunteering experience with her, it makes you grow faster in your career and when you do think about more of what you are becoming at the industries rather than what you are getting paid, sooner than you expected your expectation will be met but during that incubation period of waiting what are you doing with your time?
The major key to a better future is YOU.
Halliday Consulting 2021
Network | Innovate | Transform