What It's Like Being a Woman In a Male-Dominated Field

When you think of the words “finance” or “lawyer”, what do you see? I can almost guarantee that you see a man. That’s what I see, too, and that’s a problem. Well, I am a 19-year-old college woman studying finance and working towards being a lawyer in several years, both of which are male-dominated industries. I hope to change your perception of these industries and inspire you to be confident in your abilities, no matter your gender.

Since I was 13 years old, I knew that I wanted to be a lawyer. The idea of having that much power and intellect was, and still is, so captivating. Also, I love arguing with people and proving them wrong. When it came time to apply to college, I knew that I wanted to study something that would ultimately lead me to success, and business, specifically finance, sounded like the perfect choice. I am a numbers girl and knew I would enjoy studying this.

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Before college, I knew the stereotypical frat boy business major from movies; you know, the type that would love to “mansplain” the stock market to you. While I did not see any of these frat boys on my first day of classes, I was instantly conscious of the predominantly male classes. Every single business course that I took had significantly more boys than girls. Even my professors were mostly male; I think I had two female professors my entire freshman year. Especially now when in-person classes are no more than ten people, it’s hard to avoid the fact that you’re one of three girls in that room of ten students. 

I’m not going to lie and say that it’s not intimidating being in a room that’s predominantly men, because it is, for sure. Most of the time they have a very strong and noticeable presence, much greater than I feel I could ever have. I always feel watched and critiqued by them, and sometimes I doubt myself and my abilities. I wonder if they are a better fit for this major, this industry than I am. But then again, why would they be? I know that I’m smart and hard-working, and I can be just as much of an asset as any of these boys can be. 

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According to the American Bar Association, currently, women only make up 37% of the active attorney population, so it makes sense why we don’t see a woman when we picture a lawyer. This industry will not continue thriving without more female lawyers. In today’s world, there are many issues surrounding women, and every single day we are fighting as hard as we can. Sometimes, men just can’t relate as easily as women can to these problems, so they cannot fight for them as passionately. Female lawyers will not only help fight for these rights but will prevent future issues of similar nature from coming into question ever again. Furthermore, we can leverage our emotions and use them in our cases. Women are powerful and need to be given the right platform to express our voices.

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There will always be men who feel superior solely because of their gender, but we must persevere and remember that we are badass women, and we can do anything that men can. After all, being a woman is what will differentiate us and what makes us unique, and that is a beautiful thing.