Laundry and Dishes is a lifestyle blog which includes the knowledge and wisdom I have gained as a newlywed trying to live a traditional lifestyle in the modern world, as well as regular content from my team of amazing writers. We’d love to have you join us by subscribing to our email list!

To welcome in the new year, I am going to share with you another article from a wonderful guest author Carleen. For more from Carleen, be sure to check out my closing credits where you can find her information.

Women in the workplace still face plenty of hurdles, not the least of which are inequalities in pay. However, the challenges are even starker in some fields, such as STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). According to Global News Canada, women in STEM are making progress. It’s still a tough climb, though. 

Here, Laundry and Dishes provides some tips specifically for those determined individuals seeking to overcome the most common hurdles facing women in STEM.

Chart our a path with clear goals

Obviously, the first step towards achieving your dreams is identifying them. Don’t be general, though; be as specific as possible. Really chart out the career path you hope to achieve. Then, figure out how to make it happen. For example, you might become your own boss by starting a STEM-related company.

Expand your skillset beyond STEM

As a STEM professional, you are highly focused on a niche specialty topic. When it comes to furthering your career, you can get ahead by mastering secondary skills beyond your core focus area. Examples of valuable transferable skills include teamwork, communication, analytical thinking, and problem solving. These kinds of traits will be appealing to headhunters recruiting for jobs. They will also be useful if you start your own company.

Another great way to expand your skillset and give yourself an edge in your field is to pursue an online degree. The flexibility of online programs allows you to continue working, even as you learn at your own pace.

Build a strong network

Networking can be a fabulous way to find jobs and make valuable connections in the STEM field. Look for networking opportunities specifically targeting women. Your network can be a great place to look for a mentor. A mentor can serve as a career coach, encourage positive development, help you identify and fix weak spots, and improve overall performance. A mentor can also connect you with career opportunities and introduce you to other individuals who are higher up in your field.

Finetune your negotiation skills

Odds are you’ll have to negotiate at some point in your career. It could be about getting a promotion, for example, or demanding a raise. When the time comes, you want to be confident in your negotiation abilities. There are many ways to hone these skills, from researching beforehand to asking the right questions when you’re in the midst of a discussion. Practicing a negotiation with a friend or colleague beforehand is also handy.

Work on your confidence 

Confidence is everything in the workplace. It’s important to practice confidence-boosting skills like saying “no” while also avoiding behaviors that harm your self-esteem, like apologizing for your opinion. Positive self-talk is another great way to boost confidence. Finally, participate whenever possible. Taking part in events like conferences, panels, and webinars will give you the chance to improve your confidence. They are also valuable networking opportunities.

Charting your path as a working mom in STEM isn’t always easy. Don’t lose confidence—or hope! Follow the tips above to help you get off on the right foot. Finding a community of supportive women to help you on your rise to the top is a great place to start.

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