09 Sep Building Confidence and respect
Episode #6: Welcome to the She Builds Show, I’m your host, Stefanie Olson. Today, I want to talk about what it’s like to be a woman in a male-dominated industry, it’s my life pretty much every day. But even from childhood, I always fit in with the guys and had a hard time fitting in with the girls, it never came easy to me to just have girlfriends. I’m pretty confident in my abilities and as a young child, this can make for some pretty catty relationships, so I preferred hanging out with the boys over investing in female relationships. The skill of being a good friend to a woman in my life has had to come through my maturity, and I highly value these relationships and know how important they are to me now, but when it didn’t come easy as a kid, it was really difficult, so being in an industry where it’s mainly male-dominated, for me, I kind of feel right at home. But, I also know that some women, for them, it can be really intimidating. My dream is for the construction industry to not feel that way, for women to be able to come in willingly and get welcomed with open arms. I’m hoping to be the doorway for women to come through and feel comfortable, but I see the answer to maybe some of this problem, the men in the industry need to really combine forces with the women, we need to be on the same team, we need to really have them encourage, teach and hire women who want to learn and just make it something that’s normal to see men and women on a job site… That would be my dream.
Ready? Listen in…
• So I think this is actually like a viable way to help gain more trades, more labor and to just actually have more higher level business owners. Most of the men I come across are super welcoming, kind, they’re really willing to answer questions if I don’t know something. I think that within this industry is a combination, the key to be successful, I think, kind of infiltrating this male-dominated industry is two things. I think it’s respect, and I think it’s confidence. (01:55)
• But what I’ve learned about men in my life, especially with my husband, is that respect for them is tied to love, just like for us. Sometimes it can be words of affirmation or touch, just spending quality time can be connected to love for Women. Respect is deeply tied to love for men, so if you disrespect them, most likely they don’t feel loved. They probably won’t say that, but that’s what I’ve learned. So if I disrespected my husband, it’s probably directly tied to how loved he feels. So respect is mainly their love language, and I think it’s just imperative to show them respect. I have found that truth in my own relationships and have really tried to practice it within my marriage. I also see it ring true for the contractors I work with being kind, acknowledging, hard work and asking questions to someone who knows more, I never pretend to know something I don’t.(04:01)
• I don’t ever come across as unkind, or demeaning or belittling to any man in my life, especially my husband. We don’t nag, we don’t demean, we don’t belittle, it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work in my marriage, and it sure wouldn’t work in my business. And for confidence, for me, that comes through the ability to make decisions and solve problems. I always say that the one constant in this business is that you can count on their being a problem to solve, so if you don’t like critical thinking and having problems to solve, then girl, this business is not for you. That’s what construction is, a constant wave of problems, some large, some small. And I think I accepted that a long time ago, that most of my phone calls that I get are issues and issues I need to solve. They aren’t calling to check in on me, they aren’t going to ask me how my day is. They’re calling to tell me that they have a problem, and my goal every time is to handle that issue in that phone call and not drag it on. (06:37)
• I think it’s a really good way to practice confidence is to start making easy decisions quickly. I want to make sure that you heard me say easy. When I have something big in life, I’ve learned to sit with it and to pray about it, but when they’re easy decisions, I don’t falter, I make a decision and I move on. So, start with dinner, make it easy decision, make it quick, move on. What clothes are you’re going to wear? I just begin with the small things and be confident with the decisions you make don’t waiver. Once I make a decision, I don’t go back, I move on. Schluter’s the answer. Good, done. Didn’t think about it another second, I’ve learned to trust myself and my abilities. And the more success you have with making decisions, the easier it will be. (08:55)
WAYS TO CONNECT WITH STEFANIE…