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Acceptance in a female dominated industry. My Story

Acceptance in a female dominated industry

In a female dominated industry, acceptance can be a complex topic. It’s important to recognize that gender biases and stereotypes still exist, and may impact how one is perceived and treated.

However, by actively seeking out opportunities to learn from and collaborate with women in the industry, individuals can build relationships and demonstrate their skills and value as professionals. Ultimately, it’s important to prioritize creating a culture of inclusivity and respect within a female dominated industry.

Many emotive articles have been written on the pushback women may experience when trying to be accepted into male dominated industries, such as engineering, technology, trucking, or construction sectors.

This was foremost in my mind, as a male, when I took on the seemingly impossible challenge of creating a beauty company, having spent most my working life in the rather male centric IT industry. Would the female dominated beauty industry, and even my female target market, be receptive to a male entering their domain?

Women still face discrimination and harassment when working in male-dominated work cultures, from trade jobs, right up to working in management positions within the banking industry.

I personally witnessed many incidents of unfair treatment of females whilst I worked in merchant banking roles in various countries.

The type of mistreatment can be in the form of sexual harassment, belittled, threatening behaviour, physical and verbally challenging, being underpaid because of gender, given inferior duties. The list goes on.

Would I be subjected to any pushback because of a combination of my industry knowledge (zero at the time), and/or experience, or just because of my gender?

I was nervous.

During the journey as I developed my vision for Forbidden Beauty, I would be encountering, and working with, two different groups. The first would be from insiders within the beauty industry, and supporting services companies, that I would need to help develop my product line. 

The second group would be the many focus groups I would arrange, made up of predominantly target-market females, that would hopefully supply me invaluable feedback, from the various phases I went through on product development.

How would these two groups perceive me, based on what I had witnessed and read about, when the roles are reversed?

I can honestly and categorically state that I was utterly stunned with how I was received.

The business insiders I met consisted of the highly skilled contract-manufacture factory team that would help formulate and produce my skincare moisturizers, the labelling company (that would also help with my branding), multiple beauty product manufacturers, and many other smaller, but no-less-important, players within the beauty products industry.

All these professional industry experts were very welcoming and embracing of my vision. I received none of the pushback that I was tentatively half-expecting – in fact, the total reverse happened.

These women (yes, they were all females I dealt with), were so giving of their time and expertise and they all went far beyond to make Forbidden Beauty become what it is today. I was surprised and touched with the reception they gave me for my crazy ambitious dream.

So, would the female focus groups give me any friction? These women, who fitted my buyer persona, supplied me invaluable marketing insights on what they expected, and desired, in skincare and beauty products. Their feedback throughout the journey helped develop what I have on offer today. Once again, I was met with nothing but enthusiasm and encouragement. Many even arranged friends to attend so I could receive even more varied observations and suggestions.

I cannot find words to express the gratitude I feel towards all the women that encouraged me and gave their precious time and expertise, as I tentatively progressed into the female-dominated world of skincare and beauty.

As a male I am sadly aware that such warmth is not be such a common occurrence when the roles are reversed. The many articles one can find on discrimination and unfairness against women in the workplace support this viewpoint.

I thank all the wonderful women that helped me realize my vision and supported me. 

You helped create Forbidden Beauty.

Thank you.

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