If you’re a professional woman working in a male-dominated industry, such as finance or tech, it may be hard to find the camaraderie you see your coworkers experiencing. You might feel like an outsider and believe that your career is suffering because of that. It’s important to remember that you’re a professional and you earned your job, so it’s up to you to prove how valuable of an employee you are. It can be challenging to work in a male-dominated industry and feel you aren’t treated the same as your male coworkers, but there are ways you can gain respect and keep pushing your career forward. With this advice, you’ll be able to succeed in your role and see your career skyrocket.

Find a mentor

As you embark on your career in your industry, if you want to truly understand the ins and outs, you need to find a mentor. While working with another woman within your industry who can advise you on navigating your male-dominated field, finding a mentor who is a man isn’t a bad decision either. If we want to see an equal number of men and women at higher levels of management, men and women should advise these new professionals.

Become an expert

If you want to avoid people doubting your abilities, make an effort to become an expert in your field. You won’t be able to know everything perfectly and you’ll likely make mistakes throughout your career, but choose one area where you want to be known as an expert and keep brushing up on those skills and knowledge.

Learn new skills

As you’re becoming an expert, continue learning new skills. Continual professional development is vital for anyone, no matter where you are in your career or what industry you work in. Even learning skills that are not directly related to what you do can be beneficial; you never know when some knowledge could come in handy.

Stay well rounded

You don’t need to be an expert in every single thing, but stay well-rounded. Stay up-to-date on how to use new technology and any recent developments in your industry. Brushing up on other skills such as basic finance knowledge, business law, and marketing can help a lot in your career even if you don’t work directly in those fields.

Work on strong communication

A huge part of success in the workplace is the ability to communicate effectively. Far too many people lack strong communication skills, but they’re vital when working with others and furthering your career. Working in a male-dominated industry can be challenging, but understanding how to successfully communicate can help avoid many issues and show that you’re confident and easy to work with.

Be straightforward

At times, you might not agree with how you’re treated or what’s being done in the workplace. At those times, be willing to speak up and express your opinion. People appreciate honesty and straightforwardness, so learn to advocate for yourself and express your opinion in a clear, informed manner.