7 Tips to Succeed as a Woman in a Male-Dominant Industry

By Ira Krachanovskaya | September 4, 2018

Guest Blog: Ira was formerly Head of Growth Marketing at Badoo where she helped them acquire more than 300,000 new users each day. Badoo currently has 391 million users signed up to its platform, which operates in 190 countries and is available in 47 different languages.

“There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” – publicly said by Madeleine K. Albright, first female United States Secretary of State in U.S. history.

Working as a woman in a male dominant industry can be tough, especially when in a leadership role. It takes being strong, fighting gender stereotypes, and pushing hard to be heard. And often it can be difficult for women to recognize themselves as a leader, just as capable as any man.

Previously, for a woman to earn a promotion, emphasis was placed on the impression she made on others: how she dressed, spoke, behaved, got the attention of others, etc. And it was believed that women didn’t have the skills that came naturally to men to compete in business and that they needed to be taught what men had by nature. But is this still the case? Especially in a tech world?

Tips to Succeed

In March, 2017 I started working at Badoo as the Performance Marketing Lead. Today I am Head of Growth Marketing, managing a team of 6 male marketers. I would like to share what helped me in the past one and a half years to succeed in managing a high performing growth marketing team, achieve ambitious targets, and build trustworthy relationships with company stakeholders.

  • Don’t be afraid to fail – take the risks on and fortify your confidence. If you see an opportunity to move forward and develop yourself, grab it and give it a try. No matter what, you will learn something new for yourself. The decision to move to London to work for Badoo was one of these opportunities I took. I was afraid, but now 1.5 years later I can definitely say it was one of the best decisions in my life that pushed me towards my career growth.
  • Find your mentor – there is a need for a coach with whom one can share goals, build directions to achieve them, and analyse the results. I find it useful to have a retrospective every month to clarify for myself what was done right and what could have been improved for next time.
  • Navigate your career with passion – believe in the product you work for and dedicate your time and effort for its success. Be a source of inspiration for your team. Badoo connects millions of people daily—the success stories we obtain every day inspire me to work hard and appreciate what I do.
  • Learn as much as you can, fast – stay tuned and curious, share industry updates with your team. Read avidly across many industry, business, science, and education publications. Attend conferences, meetups, look for any kind of networking. Follow people you respect on social media. Andrew Chen is a good example which I follow.
  • Master from others – seek genuine feedback from your team and peers. Accept both positive and negative feedback, the latter is the one that helps me to become experienced.
  • Build a team – hire highly talented experts with whom you can share your objectives and who in return can rely on you. I built our Performance team from scratch hiring every employee by myself. Today I can count on each and every one of them to solve any problem that may arise.
  • Difficult does not mean impossible – this is a phrase I say to myself when I face a new challenge. Step out of your comfort zone to gain personal growth.

These are just a few small tips for women to think about before stepping into a leadership role in a male-dominant industry.