Taht El-Wesaya: Uncovering the Challenges That Women Face in Male-Dominated Fields
Engy Elghannam
4/10/23, 7:00 PM

Women who enter traditionally male-dominated jobs often face harsh judgments and negative perceptions from their colleagues and superiors. This is clearly shown in  "Taht El wesaya" series starring Mona Zaki in Ramadan 2023, watching her facing gender double standards and challenges as she is working in a male-dominating field makes us want to shed light on how it's very important to take steps towards stopping these challenges that many women are facing.

 Despite the progress in recent years, women are still significantly underrepresented in male-dominated fields, and they face numerous challenges. However, this can create a hostile work environment, which can make it more difficult to advance in their careers and can lead to feelings of isolation and low job satisfaction. Addressing discrimination against women in male-dominated industries is very necessary and requires a multifaceted approach, including changes to organizational culture, policies, and practices. By taking these steps, we can work towards a more equitable and inclusive workplace for everyone.

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Here are the challenges that women face in male-dominated jobs 

 Wrong beliefs about Women’s leadership abilities

Unfortunately, women are often judged based on stereotypes and misbeliefs about their abilities and skills, particularly in male-dominated industries. Although many women are just as capable of excelling in any field as men, there is still this wrong assumption about women that they are not strong enough and less capable in certain roles or jobs. We are in 2023, so we have to overcome these misconceptions and start believing in women and hiring them for roles held by men; it's also crucial to provide them equal opportunities for training and professional development. 

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Women are always criticized

Women are often criticized for everything they do, especially in male-dominated industries; for example, their appearance, behavior, and skills. It's also clear that women, despite being encouraged to succeed, may be seen as too pushy or aggressive if they show ambition, while men who exhibit the same traits are praised for them. For example, if a woman works in a place where her clothes get dirty because of the nature of her work, then she is considered unfeminine or unattractive. While men in the same environment might be seen as attractive and be praised for being tough, This double standard occurs because society has been conditioned to see women as objects of desire and men as strong and brave providers for their families.

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Discounted Achievements 

Unhappily, women's achievements are often discounted or overlooked in male-dominated industries. This can happen in a variety of ways, from being given less credit for her work to having her ideas dismissed or ignored. Women often have to complete more tasks than men while working on a project or something, and the problem here is that women are not given the credit they deserve for the work they’ve done. Their achievements go unnoticed by many, and if they are noticed, they get lost in all the noise of celebrating men's achievements. However, it's important to celebrate women the same as men, highlight their accomplishments, and give them the recognition they deserve in order to inspire other women to pursue careers in these fields.

Sexual Harassment

The most common problem that many women face in a male-dominated field is sexual harassment. Here, harassment doesn't always mean to be physical; it can take many forms, from unwanted comments or gestures to assault or the tone of voice and attitude. The main problem here is that men still feel entitled, and they give themselves the right to treat a woman in an appropriate manner because they believe that she will be scared to speak up about it because of how society will see her and because of her reputation. Harassment also goes under the concept of how men talk to women in dismissive tones because they don’t want to respect what women have accomplished. So, it is very important for us to speak out against harassment and to support those who have experienced it.

Exploitation of women

Exploitation of women in the workplace is a serious issue that can take many forms: unequal pay, lack of opportunities for advancement, and discrimination in hiring and promotion decisions. They think that a woman doesn't care about all these things because they believe she is just working for fun; they can't take it seriously that she is ambitious and passionate about her job just as they are. However, this exploitation is a violation of women's rights and can have serious and long-lasting impacts on their mental health, as well as their career prospects.

How to over these challenges?

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Stick to what you want

Know well about the industry you are going to work in to understand what you’re getting into. Once you've come to terms with everything you need to know about the job and you’re interested in pursuing a career in it, then it's time to focus on your career goals and not let anyone deter you from achieving them.

Join a women's network

The best way to feel included and not isolated is to create a network between you and other women in the business. This could be an easy way to create a safe space for you to discuss successes and challenges together. What is good about this network is that it will help women address the gender challenges they face within a corporate environment while at the same time reducing issues of isolation and exclusion.

Find and use your voice

 I know it is often difficult to speak up, especially in male-dominated fields where you may feel like an outsider. However, it's very important to feel free to know and say exactly what you want, even if you feel you will be misspeaking, as making mistakes is a common part of our daily lives, especially in the workplace. So, it’s seriously crucial that we become comfortable with speaking our opinion, even if it’s not what others want to hear.

Learn how to say “No”

Always saying yes as a woman may make you easily fit in, but it won’t earn you the respect you expect amongst your colleagues. Many people may avoid saying no because they don’t want to come across as difficult, but in the workplace, it doesn't work like that. It’s easy to get exploited by your ‘yes’, for example, by working late or having extra projects because they will think it's a way of building a network. So, standing up for yourself will be so beneficial for you in the long run.

It's important to recognize and celebrate the achievements of women in male-dominated industries and to actively work towards creating more supportive environments that value diversity and equality.

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Engy Elghannam

Hii. This is me Engy Elghannam. Fashion has always been my passion; it always makes me happy to create my own unique style combination. Reading fills up my heart, I love reading all kind of books; I spend hours lost in the pages of a good book. The more I read the more I learn and get influenced. In fact, this what really made me start writing as I wanted to influence, express and write anything that would be beneficial for others.