In a culturally biased system, you do not have to get empowered by someone to feel empowered. What you need is a value proposition that would be selected for by the system, regardless of your gender, race, age, or any other identity factor.
In the early days of my HR career, I found myself in various situations when I felt underpowered by controlling or toxic managers. They (the powerful) believed that I had to earn their trust through blind loyalty and over-work rather than partnership and smart-work.
What did I do? At first, I tried to play by the rules (what most people do). It worked in the beginning until I burned out and became miserable. Later, when I became a bit wiser, I started challenging their status quo and unhealthy decisions. It also did not work, as I was not seen as a "team player" (this is the verbiage they would use against independents).
Eventually, I did something totally different: I left the corporate world to pursue my own IT recruitment business. It was not easy in the first year or so (it took some time to solidify my client base), but eventually, it worked out really well: good work led to new referrals without any marketing. How did it feel? It felt empowering! Because I did not have to kiss anyone's feet to get well-paid and do what I was passionate about.
So if you want to get into a culturally biased system and succeed, you either
▶️ play according to the rules (traditional path, very tough, requires a lot of sacrifices),
▶️ attempt to change them (important for social change, but creates a lot of backlash),
▶️ wait for a "Bill Gates" type to hand it over to you (the "empowerment" stuff, gives you the fish, not the rod), or
▶️ you hack it by creating or finding a backdoor (the most independent but rewarding path)
In my situation, the backdoor was the intuition and later the gained understanding that many small to midsized companies valued working with freelancers more than with big agencies. So, I was able to provide them with what they actually needed (not necessarily asked) which was speed, quality, and, most importantly, valuable guidance.
When you really think about it, a free market does not care about your gender, age, or any other form of identity, as long as you are able to create value and put money into the system. Unfortunately, working internally, it becomes much more difficult, as you have to compete with other employees first before you are allowed to compete on behalf of the organization with other market players.
So, if you also consider yourself a lone wolf, one of the things you could do for your career (especially here in Lithuania) is not pursue a career (!) but rather create a business and do it your own way instead of waiting for someone to hand you over a valuable position, because you are X (insert identity) or you did Y (insert sacrifice).
As long as the legal system and market is more or less fair and transparent, the only fight you have to win is not with the "evil capitalists" but yourself. Unless you are fine with being a slave to the system, the psychological work will have to be done.