When I decided to pursue the HERficionado business venture, I honestly didn’t know what I was getting into. I knew that I would be going into a completely male-dominated industry and lifestyle, but I didn’t know what that meant to my success. I wasn’t sure if, as a woman, I’d be accepted, taken seriously, or simply discarded. However, none of it mattered then, and it doesn’t matter now. I knew where my passion lied, so I went for it.
Insulted at My Own Party
I recall a gentleman at one of my “She Smokes Too” events approaching me about my cigar-smoking. He didn’t know he was attending MY event, so when he found out, he had questions. This man interrogated me for several minutes about my cigar knowledge, as if I couldn’t possibly know anything about them. After a while, I excused myself because I could see that he wasn’t genuinely interested in my story. He was simply looking for holes in it. He couldn’t wrap his mind around the fact that a “prissy little girl” (his words) could be curating a successful cigar event and actually know a thing or two.
Make Them Uncomfortable
While I have not run into this often, it definitely happens from time to time. Honestly, it’s to be expected. We’re living in 2017, but some folks are stuck in 1817. Women are moving and shaking at rapid paces and we can’t slow down because those people can’t keep up. We can’t continue to do the work that’s carved out for us out of fear of the unknown. I’m ok with making people uncomfortable. Women were not put on this earth to fit into a mold.
Girls, We Run The World
My advice for women who are now, or soon to be working in a male-dominated industry is simple: You’re a woman, use it to your advantage. We can pretend that honey doesn’t attract more bees than vinegar, but we would be lying. We possess a power and energy that men only wish they did. Your smile will get a yes quicker than a grimace. When you walk into a meeting or conference, put on that suit or dress that makes them say “Damn! She didn’t come to play!”
Your professionalism, presentation, and skill-set are already on point, so sometimes that extra feminine UMPH can help seal the deal.