You don’t. It must be frustrating as hell going to work day in and day out, busting your butt just as much or even more than some of your male colleagues, and getting no recognition.
Yet, trying to compete with male colleagues at work to show a male-chauvinist boss that you are just as competent as your male colleagues will likely prove futile. Why? Because you are asking your boss to suspend his beliefs and accept your view that women are just as competent as men at work. People are who they are and they tend not to change. If your boss believes that men are more competent than women, only major intervention will change that. It’s difficult to change people who don’t want to change.
Here’s what you can do.
What you have to do instead is focus on the exception to the rule. Almost everyone believes in the saying ‘there are always exceptions to the rule.’ You have to be that exception to his rule that men are more competent. It is a lot easier to get him to see you as the exception to his rule about male workers than to get him to change his world view on gender in the workplace.
This may sound cold, but you have to forget about his view of women in general and make it about you. Maybe if there are enough women in the workplace being the exception to the rule, over time, he might change his view of women. But for the time being, turn the focus on you.
First of all, don’t make it about competing with men. Forget about the men. Make it about you standing in your power. Start by seeing yourself as the exception. Become aware of all that you do and be sure that you are standing tall, walking with pride and exuding to the world that you are an exceptional worker.
Next, be the exception in all that you do. If, for example, the boss asks everyone for a summary on various projects to be sent to him to bring him up to speed, give him more than he is asking for. Your colleagues may send a paragraph or two describing their project. Do a little more on yours. Structure it differently. Start with the title, then an objective explaining what you, the department, or the company is aiming to achieve with the project. Following that, create other relevant sections to explain your project: maybe a section on ‘Action Taken’ or ‘Milestones’ and even ‘Results.’ Include any heading that makes sense to include but allows you to demonstrate your exceptional-ism. The point is to find ways to make everything that you do stand out.
This may still seem like competing. I admit, there isn’t much physical difference. However, there is a major difference in attitude and effect. You attract what you focus on. So if you are focusing on changing your boss’ view or bemoaning the unfairness in the workplace, that experience will multiply. If you focus on being the best you, that attracts a different reality.
If you consciously and continuously focus on you, and demonstrate that you are an exception through your work, there is no doubt that he will view you as the exception to the rule. Being the exception is likely your best approach for moving ahead at work in the face of an implacable, male-chauvinist boss.
All the best to you and remember,
Be bold and be brilliant!