Harnessing the power of creativity to thrive in a male dominated environment
By Mireille Toulekima
Creativity is key for women empowerment and growth when they work in male dominated industries. Women need to break the mould and be bold enough to act beyond existing predefined parameters and traditions. It is not about thinking “outside of the box” but about understanding there is no box at all. Harnessing the power of innovation and creativity will not only allow women to shrive and transform their working environment but also make them grow to reach their full potential and fill the leadership positions in those sectors where males outnumber them.
Several studies demonstrated that more and more STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) companies are looking for skill sets in their new employees that are much more creativity-related. STEM Companies want workers who can brainstorm, problem-solve, collaborate creatively and contribute new ideas. It is well known that these are skills women exhibit naturally and they should definitely not shy to capitalize on them when they work in male dominated industries.
Women are perfectly able to marry the technical with the creative and it gives them a golden advantage to be competitive to propel them ahead of their male colleagues. Creativity will be the game changer for women working in male dominated industries if they want to succeed and progress to leadership positions in male dominated fields.
Creativity is at the foundation of innovation. Therefore, women must not lose sight of the need to foster creativity if they want to be successful in male dominated sectors. They must simply stop focusing on the glass ceiling because focusing on the glass ceiling will not bring them anywhere. Creativity is vital for economic growth and sustainable development. It is thus imperative that women harness the power of creativity if they want to stay competitive.
Tapping into women creative leadership can only drive improvement and enables diversity and inclusiveness in STEM fields. This is the best way to respond to the needs to empower women, break the existing glass ceiling and bring sustainable growth in STEM sectors. It is thus fair to say that an increase in creativity can only spark further innovation in STEM fields and beyond.
Creativity and innovation have always been recognized as a sure path to success irrespective of the industry. Creative problem solving can give women the competitive edge to achieve growth and sustainability in their workplace. Women should not underestimate the power of their creativity and feminine uniqueness when they work in male dominated industries. I encourage them to celebrate their womanhood, to be creative, to maintain perspective and most importantly to forget their limitations when faced with difficulties and challenges. They must embrace any creativity they have. They must incorporate creativity into their professional life at all level and cultivate being creative because successful leaders are creative and always bring something special to the table. This is corroborated by many case studies showing that the more people are creative, the more successful they become.
Together with knowledge, creativity is the new currency for a successful and fulfilling career in STEM fields as the accelerated impact of technology on the natural forces of market competition and the world constant disruption are exercising a radical and transformative impact on global business and economic growth sustainability. Women will stand the best chance of accessing leadership positions in STEM and reinvent themselves to keep up with the “new normal” if they adapt to the ongoing disruption and if they are creative and innovative.
I therefore encourage women working in male dominated sectors to redefine their benchmark, to maintain an entrepreneurial mindset, to be creative and focus on developing themselves by acquiring the right knowledge and developing the right skills. This is key for them to keep up with the world disruption instead of comparing themselves to male counterpart and seeing the glass ceiling as unbreakable. Women should let go of the limits they put on themselves. They should stop thinking they are not advancing professionally because of their gender and start using their innate abilities to their advantage. They must use their talents where they are most needed and promote the value of their feminine skills sets as much as they can.
We are entering a new era where advancing in a male dominated workplace is now more about being persistently creative and innovative by maintaining an entrepreneurial mindset less than about gender. Women must offer their input and ideas on a regular basis, rise above self-sabotage and focus on being competitively creative and innovative to position themselves to stand the chance to access the top jobs in male dominated industries.
Women are encouraged to celebrate and embrace their difference. They should commit to travel the trail of creativity as they navigate through their professional path in male dominated industries. They have the power and resources within them to succeed at achieving exactly what they want if they harness creativity to be women of standard, intelligence and substance. If women are not creative, they will not grow. Personnel growth is key for their success. It is less gender bias. Growth can be experienced by anybody irrespective of gender and in whatever environment and workplace the person operates.
Women working in male dominated environment must understand that change will not come if they are not creative and innovative. Women are the change those male dominated industries seek in this new era where knowledge and creativity are the new currency. They must be intentional in their growth and focus on the process and strategies associated and not think the current glass ceiling is unbreakable. Women must not only stand out and capitalize on their creativity to be able to cut through the clutter and get noticed but also rise above the noise and perceived limitations wherever they are or happen to be.
Creativity is one of the most important leadership skills of the future. The demand for creativity and creative thinking is increasing and will fuel economies in the future. The role of women in creating, adapting and diffusing innovation is a key enabler for women empowerment and for the adoption of a more harmonious approach to gender. Harnessing the power of creativity is the key for women to thrive in a male dominated environment.
This article was published in Her Story Matters Magazine. The magazine is available on http://www.herstorymatters.com/story-matters-magazine-volume-1/. Her Story Matters is an NGO whose objective is to unify women worldwide as one voice and create a safe place for every woman to share her story.