What is it like being the only male in a female-led company?
Updated: Sep 22, 2021
For most of my life I have been exposed to male leadership. In my own household, in high school, in almost every sphere of my life and on top of that, I saw it in every television series or movie. It’s like my whole life I’ve been somewhat programmed to only see males as leaders, and I wouldn’t even know what it might be like to be exposed to female leadership. This year I started working in a female-led company called Untamed Creative Society, which does raise the question of: ”What is it like being one of the only males in a female-led company”?
When I was offered my internship position at Untamed Creative Society, I had no clue what to expect. I was very eager to take on an opportunity that would teach me everything that involves digital marketing; however, I had never been under female leadership before. It was unknown territory, but I was simultaneously excited for it as well. The first week was fun getting to know everyone that was part of the team. I noticed how awesomely diverse each person was, Kelsey being this very creative minded person, amazing at communicating and a passionate academic. Tinica, who is super talented at graphic design and has a creative eye with photography and videography. Lastly, Rebeca, who most of the interns would make jokes that everyone should fear Rebeca because “she is scary”, this made me nervous every time I was around her, but thankfully this wasn’t the case. Rebeca isn’t scary, she is someone that cares very deeply about people and constantly pushes people to reach their potential, she is very direct and honest and is super determined. The more I got to know them, the more I began feeling so grateful that I was put into this position because the exposure to such diverse people would only lead to growth in my own skills.
My experience at Untamed as the only male, has offered me a whole new perspective within the workplace and I feel like this has been the year that I have learnt the most. What has been great about Untamed is that even though we prioritise getting the business side of things done, we always leave time open to discuss topics about life, our own experiences and it’s an environment that fosters relationship building. The big thing that I have learnt is my own ignorance as a male in many cases. Within my first week Kelsey corrected me on my manners when I got up first to get food and didn’t consider letting all the women get their food first. I have been exposed to conversations that help me understand the issues with toxic masculinity within the workplace and how it may affect female employees. With all of this input it has really translated into other areas of my life where this toxic masculinity exists - within my friend groups, at church and at other events. It has helped me stay aware of things and to try do something about it. To that, I am very thankful to Untamed for giving me a new perspective and encouraging me to be a better person. I have noticed that there is still a lot of things I don’t understand but I know that as I work there longer, the more things I become aware of. I am also treated as everyone else, there is never a sense of an imbalance between the genders.
Within the workplace, I’ve been pushed outside of my comfort zone. Kelsey and Rebeca embody good leadership better than anyone I know. They have gone out of their way to create an environment where there’s open communication amongst the interns and management. There is always directness involved with work getting done on time and there is a huge focus on making time to get to know all of the interns on a more individual level. When I initially started, I was not work-fit, very shy and struggled to use my full potential in the work that I completed. Due to the environment that had been created I have gained a lot of confidence, improved my work ethic, and now I follow a motto that Kelsey has taught me which is ‘saying yes to opportunity’. Saying yes to every opportunity has made me take on projects that are very intimidating but have allowed me to gain various skills along the way.
So, to answer the question of what it is it like to work in a female-led company. It’s honestly been life-changing, it has given me an opportunity to become a better version of myself both in my own life and in the corporate world. It has changed the way I think and has given me a level of understanding I would not have been able to gain in a male-led company. It is very sad that there is a negative stigma attached to female leaders, but the female leaders I have been surrounded by execute leadership better than any other male leader that I know. I have never been treated differently for being another gender and equality is a central focus on the business. I am hoping that female-led companies become a more common thing in the world, it will be a positive driven force in the corporate world and culture.
Written By: Cameron Sathiah - Junior Digital Marketer
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