You may think that it will be fun to be part of an all female workplace as you will be able to share many things in common. It may be true but you have to remember that it is a corporate existence rather than a community group of women sharing a common ideal. And as you know, in the corporate world, stiff competition exists and it can be a tough ride for the uninitiated. So remove your rose-colored glasses and learn how to survive in an all female workplace.
- Your first step towards survival is to learn who you will be dealing with in the workplace. Try to get as much information as you can about the manager of the department you will be joining and how many employees are in the department. Make inquiries with human resources to have a general idea of what to expect. Ask if there is a dress code and other things that you, as a new employee should know. Be observant and take a close look at how the other employees are dressed.
- As they say, first impression lasts and you should keep this in mind. With the knowledge that you have gained from the inquiries you have made with human resources, plan to dress according to the existing dress code and report for work as impeccable as possible.
- Expect that the existing staff will look you over from head to toe. This does not mean that you have to look timid because that will make you an easy target for some cattiness later. Look confident and pleasant and have a smile on your face as you are introduced to everyone in the department. Speak in a normal tone of voice, look them in the eyes and show deference. Even if you think that you are better qualified than the rest of the employees in the department, this should not show in the way you act and speak.
- As you settle down for work, do your assigned tasks to the best of your ability. However, be very cautious and do not be a show-off because you have to remember that women can be quite jealous, especially if they think that your presence will threaten their work and their future in the company.
- Approach them pleasantly if you need something from them and do not linger for small talk unless you feel that they genuinely like to get to know you better. Open yourself to the friendship that they will extend but do use your inner judgment to discern if they are actually interested in accepting you within their circle or they just want to get information that they can use against you later. It may sound like paranoia but that is reality.
- Be wary of gossip because this can be very rampant. It may be difficult to avoid it but you should remain steadfast and resist the temptation to get lured into this vicious circle. Expect that office gossip and intrigues abound and the only way to avoid getting caught in this net is to do your work well, assist those who need your help and keep busy.
There is no such thing as peaceful co-existence between co-workers, particularly in an all female work environment. Your survival depends on how you carry yourself and how you set about to make a name for yourself without getting involved in the existing jealousy, backstabbing and gossip that can destroy the credibility of someone. Use the proper channels to make your superiors aware if you are being unfairly and unjustly treated.