It may be difficult but not impossible. As a female college student who is hoping to make it in a male dominated industry, there are many risks and fears that linger. There are many unknowns for women like me. Some of the questions that persist in my mind are, will I be taken seriously as a woman in this field? Will it be more difficult for me to land the position I am wanting? Will I have to sacrifice my passion for a workplace that respects me? I despise that these are things that women must think about but that is just the way it is. However, as I mentioned earlier, succeeding in these careers is not impossible by any means.
This past summer, I had a male co-worker who was asking me what my goals are and what I was hoping to do in my career. I told him that I want to go into agricultural sales. To this he responded, “Goodluck finding clients that take you seriously. A lot of those guys refuse to let a woman be their salesperson.” At first, I took this to heart. I felt incredibly insulted, but I then realized that my co-worker was not trying to personally attack me. He was simply letting me know what I am getting myself into out of respect for me as he had seen it firsthand.
I dwelled on this for quite some time and was letting my thoughts win. I was telling myself that I would not do well in my career and was debating changing my goals due to this single comment. I then realized that this was the very problem. I was the problem. I was letting myself give up before I had even tried. Are there going to be a couple bumps in the road? Of course there are. However, I am much more than my fears and failures. I am mentally stronger than I let people give me credit for. All women are.
My schooling, my experiences and my skills can easily land me my dream job and will allow me to succeed in that. I am just as capable of accomplishing my goals as any other person may be. I cannot let the little inconveniences stop me from becoming who I want to be. If we as women let ourselves believe the lies that men can do these things better, then we are a huge part of the problem. We cannot be fazed by this. Instead, we must hold our head high and persist. It is crucial to be confident in ourselves and our abilities going into anything whether it be a job interview, a sales pitch or anything of the sorts. A self-respecting woman is a well-respected woman to all.
As women in agriculture, engineering, finance, architecture and many more, we need to be sure of our skills. We are the minority in these careers because we have not yet taken the initiative to not be. The women that have succeeded in these roles before us have done so because they were not deterred. We are what we believe we are. We cannot let one stubborn man or one insulting comment change our mindset or our goals. We are more than capable of the mental toughness that these roles require. Previous women have defied the odds in these careers, so why can’t we?
Let’s do this, let’s defy the odds.