Being a Women in a Man’s World

Three Lessons I’ve Learned

Having started my career in the sports industry, and working now in construction, I’m familiar with male‑dominated environments. And although I’ve never, thankfully, experienced first‑hand any form of gender discrimination, I want to share a few lessons that I’ve learned along the way.

1. Don’t wait for the perfect timing

Let it be said: the so-called perfect conditions will never be in place. No one, regardless of the gender, is ever perfectly qualified. Learning is an ongoing process. And no one, regardless of the gender, will offer you a position simply because you deserve it. If you do not learn to hush up your doubts and take a leap, someone else (a man, most likely) will land your dream job. So got for it!

2. Trust – and be – yourself

I’m extremely demanding with myself, and I have a strong personality. Whether this trait has influenced my professional trajectory or been reinforced by it, I don’t know. But one thing is for certain: showing my true colours has always paid off. The new markers of effective leadership –communication, empowerment, emotional intelligence and honesty – are not gendered. This is our time to shine.

3. Take your place…in order to find it

I’m privileged, and I know it: I hold a key position among a brilliant team that trusts me entirely, and in a sector that is lagging in achieving gender balance. If I’ve successfully taken my place at Beaudoin Canada, it is thanks to my passion and a good dose of audacity. If I’ve decided to stay, it is because of the unwavering support I get in my quest for excellence.

There perhaps lies the key to women’s success: go for it, and don’t settle for what you are offered. Go get what you deserve.

*In this post, female is used to refer to any individual who identifies as a woman.

By Karine Vachon