5 tips for women entering male-dominated industries


Do the positives of standing out in the crowd outweigh the risk of discrimination?
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At 24 years old, I launched Australia’s only 100% female owned spirits company, here’s what I’ve learned after three years owning a business in one of Australia’s most male dominated industries.

If they say you can’t do it, it either means they can’t do it, or they don’t want you to do it. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, don’t take no for an answer. If you’re doing something great, or even new, people are going to be uncomfortable. They’ll say it can’t or shouldn’t be done, don’t listen to them.

Get multiple opinions, especially when it comes to quotes. This is something I hear from so many women starting any business or at a new job. They are often over quoted or given the wrong advice initially. Be cautious of who you listen to and always get multiple opinions before making big decisions.


Reach out to a female mentor in your industry. Whatever you’re going through or figuring out, other powerful women in your industry have probably gone through it before. You’ll be surprised how willing other women will be to help you, so don’t be afraid to ask to take them out for coffee for mentoring chats.

Don’t feel the need to be ‘nice’ to everyone. A classic slippery slope for women in many jobs. Whether it’s using one too many exclamation marks in your emails, or reacting too pleasantly to an unfair situation. Always keep in mind how your male counterparts would act and respond.

Listen to your gut. If something feels wrong, it probably is. Whether it’s who you’re working with, listening to or taking advice from, trust your gut. You don’t need to work with people who want you to fail or make you feel small.

All of these things are easier said than done, but there’s no need to be afraid, just don’t be naive. There is so much support out there for you, you just need to ask.

Ellen Weigall is an entrepreneur with a passion for empowering women in business. Find out more about Ellen About | BABY Pink Gin

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