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Ask SheCanCode Anything: “Feeling more confident as the only woman in the room?”

Ask us anything - being the only woman in the room

ARTICLE SUMMARY

As part of SheCanCode’s mission to motivate, inspire and support women in tech, we’ve launched a new series where you can ask us anything.

We hope this open forum will give our community an opportunity to voice their worries, concerns and problems in a safe space. And possibly help others in similar situations at the same time!

This week, we’re talking about being the only woman in the room, having the confidence to speak up and tackling loneliness. To help us answer these questions is coach, Fiona Hatton.

Fiona Hatton

Fiona believes that we all deserve to live a great life, but what great looks like changes over time and sometimes we find ourselves stuck living in a way that isn’t right for us anymore. Yoco Studio’s unique blend of yoga and coaching can help you to feel happier and more content by opening up possibilities and overcoming barriers in your way. 

Join the Yoco Studio community for free resources, useful tips and offers – a wellbeing toolkit to help you make changes and be kind to yourself.

YoCo Studio logo

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS FOR US – WHETHER IT BE ABOUT WORK RELATIONSHIPS, GAINING CONFIDENCE, OR TAKING THE LEAP INTO TECH – YOU CAN ASK US ANYTHING.

ASK US ANYTHING

Dear SheCanCode,

I’m just starting out in my career. Whilst I absolutely love my job and the people I work with; I am one of the few women in the room.

Initially, I didn’t really think this would be a problem, but I do feel like an outsider, and I’ll be honest, it’s lonely sometimes. It’s affecting my confidence and I’m struggling to put myself out there in meetings. I’m worried that this will also have a negative impact on my future prospects and promotions.

What can I do to feel more confident and involved? And how can I use my gender as a superpower and not a stigma?

Thanks,

Lone Woman


HI LONE WOMAN

We spend a lot of time at work, so it’s really important that we feel we can be ourselves and be accepted for that. You’re starting from a good place: you have a job you love and it sounds like you have some great people around you. 

I’d like you to imagine a scale of zero to 100. 100 is when you’re feeling at your most confident, like you could take on the world. Zero is the opposite. Where are you on the scale right now? And where would you like to be and when?

It can help to look at things in this way, because we often see that we’re not starting from zero, and where we want to be isn’t that far away. What small steps could you take to help you get to where you want to be?

Try this exercise to help you spot what brings you confidence and what leaves you feeling on the outside:

  1. Take a piece of paper and draw 2 columns 
  2. Label them: Confidence booster and confidence drainer
  3. For the next week, notice how you feel during meetings, when you’re collaborating with others, when you’re working on your own etc.
  4. Add them to the column that most fits with how you’re feeling
  5. Spot any patterns – is there a certain meeting that really energises you? Is there a collaboration that’s really impacting your confidence?
  6. What lessons can you learn from your confidence booster column? How can you apply them to activities in your confidence drainer column?
  7. What other small changes could you make to move you up your confidence scale?

Keep a note of the changes you’re making and what impact they’re having. And check in with yourself to see whether you’re starting to move up the scale. Don’t be disheartened if you find you haven’t made the progress you’d like to. Go back to the exercise above and see what other changes you could make to help you feel more confident.

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