When it comes to navigating a male dominated industry being a women and specifically a woman of color, can make for a lonely work environment. It take a secure and confident woman to remain assertive, build performance and maintain relationships that usually turn out to be testosterone driven. The whole process of fitting in can be intimidating, but necessary especially if you wish to work in a male dominated industry like entertainment. Gaining likability and acceptance are a large part of the battle.
Industry leaders like Yomi Desalu, a 15 year veteran of MTV’s Music Talent Department, believes that the female presence in the music industry is changing for the better.
Yomi believes some of our favorite artists like Jhene Aiko, Tink, and SZA are creating their own lanes in the entertainment industry, thus opening the doors for a new creative shift and despite the industry’s strong male presence women are flourishing.
“Those are the inspiring artists and individuals who are going to start to open up the door so that this new wave can come in”, said Desalu.
So, if you’re sitting in your cubicle thinking of new ways to knock down the door of your male dominated industry, its safe to say fitting in and keeping quiet are ways of the past. According to Yomi, you’ve got to regain your confidence, build relationships and listen to a whole lotta Jhene Aiko! Just kidding but it cant hurt lol. Point is, you can’t be afraid to create your own lane and more importantly, to stand in your lane alone.
Tip 1: You are the real MVP
Yes ladies, always think of yourself as a very important person. This does not me walking in to your job and thinking theres nothing to learn but, it does mean, feeling confident and knowing your value. What do you bring to the table?
Tip 2: Write down your master plan
In other words write out your goals! Yomi Desalu, says, “to always have a checklist of goals you want to reach.” The checklist is a reminder of the things you need to get done by a certain time in life. And it may help you to stay motivated and to remember you have a purpose to fulfill.
Tip 3: Don’t use color or culture ( or lack thereof) as an excuse to give up!
We know as people of color, especially being a beautiful black women, you are prone to being stereotyped. But, do not let this hold you back. The Little Black Book of Success reminds us, “Even the best managers can succumb to unconscious stereotypes or implicit prejudice, but you must understand the perceptions of the dominant culture.” Do not let the threats of stereotypes lower your confidence or put a limit on your potential.
Tip 4: Networking is a must!
Some women may not like the idea of networking because maybe you feel it’s pretentious and too much sucking up. Well honestly, it’s just something you have to do and has some useful benefits. According to Desalu, “Your net worth is determined by your network.” In most industries, believe it or not, networking is one of the main factors of success. Some of us may have the skills, but knowing the right people can get you to the right places.
Tip 5: Do your Homework
Learn about your industry. Being knowledgeable of your industry helps you to be more creative. It can help with things to discuss in meetings or around the cafeteria. study related industries, always remember to never limit yourself to your own backyard.
By: Shaquilla Griszell