Networking for women arose partly out of women's experiences of
being shut out of the "old boys" networks, for example when a job
is advertised only by word of mouth to those known by the network. Women have also found that much of the important transfer of
information takes place outside the office, at golf games, at
lunches or dinners, at sporting events.
Barriers to Networking
|According to Karsten
(Management and Gender, Praeger, 1994)
too often, to
the detriment of their careers
women believe the following to be true
should get a job because of what you know
not who you know"
"Using others is manipulative"
Benefits of Networking
|Help in career
Networking and Assertiveness
In many instances in many workplaces, women are left out of
events, often just by oversight rather than by a deliberate effort
to exclude her, particularly if she is the only woman on staff.
Various excuses are offered, including that the men did not think
she would be interested (hockey tickets), or they were going to a
place that does not appeal to most women (strip club lunch).
Consider how you would feel if you found out you had been left out
of an important company even to which you feel you should have
out a line or two of dialogue in which a female manager
would tell the men she works with that she was not happy with being left out
of an important event at work.
Try to sound both good-natured but also assertive.
Tips For Successful Networking
|Have a wide network of a
variety of people in different jobs, of different ages, with
|Grow and groom your network -
be continually aware of where you need to improve, where
opportunities exist for growth and renewal
|Don't substitute "who you
know" for what you know - keep your job performance at
|Don't abuse the goodwill of
others; don't go to the trough too many times; don't think
only in terms of what someone can do for you
|Choose your networks
carefully; don't just go to every event in every place
offered; by the same token, don't keep your network too
|Don't wait to form a network
until the day you need one; keep in touch with people you
may need in the future
|At a networking event, try to
meet just 3 people; you can't meet the whole room so try for
only 3 good conversations
|Go alone to networking events,
not with someone you already know
|Learn how to give as well as
take at networking events - find out how you can help others
|Be a good citizen - Keep your
promises, Help others, Volunteer - all these things are good
to do and they also provide opportunities to meet people who
may later be of help to you
|Look in unusual places for
possible mentors - people in very different jobs at your
place of work, people in your church or community - get
involved in these groups
|Be respectful to every person
you meet anywhere - you never know who will turn out to be
helpful to you in some way
|Be prepared at all times to say
in 25 words or less exactly what it is that you do and for
whom and what makes you or your company particular good at
what you do
My own statement:
I teach marketing, women's studies,
and environmental studies at York University, Canada's third
largest and most interdisciplinary university.
|Push yourself a bit - if
networking is hard for you, remember that it is hard for
just about everyone, and you get better with practice
Networking and Nurturing
It is sometimes said of networking that men tend toward mentoring
and women tend toward nurturing.
the difference between networking and nurturing, in a
corporate managerial environment and when is each appropriate?
Networking is a good way to find friends and friendships
between women, says a landmark study out of the University of
California at Los Angeles, help counteract the stress that most
of us suffer on the job.
Long accustomed to the belief that we all react with the
traditional "fight or flight" behaviour, scientist Laura Cousino
Klein, Ph.D., now a professor at Pennsylvania State University
and one of the authors of the UCLA study, said they found that
women, especially those with children, tended to modify the
"fight or flight" response and find other women with whom to
stand. The study, reported in Taylor, S.E., Klein, L.C., Lewis,
B.P., Gruenwald, T.L., et al. (2000). "Female Responses to
Stress: Tend and Befriend, Not Fight or Flight",
Psychological Review, 107(3), 41-429, said that when women
do this, more oxytocin, a stress-relieving component, is
released, producing further stress-relief. So if you are working
(or going to school or both) in a stressful environment, find
friends to help you through it.
Once there was a girl named Abigail who was in love with a boy named Gregory. Gregory had an unfortunate mishap and broke his glasses. Abigail, being a true friend, volunteered to take them to be repaired. But the repair shop was across the river, and during the flash flood the bridge had been washed away. Poor Gregory could see nothing without his glasses, so Abigail was desperate to get across the river to the repair shop. While she was standing forlornly on the bank of the river, clutching the broken glasses in her hand, a boy named Sinbad glided by in a rowboat.
|This is an old story, an
old exercise in ethical and moral decision making; I did
not write it but neither do I know of any author. I
include it here since so much of networking has to do with
how you choose whom you spend time with, what kinds of
people you surround yourself with. Answer the questions
and then share your rankings in the Discussion Group. It can
be done alone, but it is ever so much more effective if you
do it with others so you
can compare and discuss your answers.
Abigail asked Sinbad if he would take her across. He agreed to on the condition that while she was having the glasses repaired, she would go to a nearby store and steal a transistor radio that he had been wanting. Abigail refused to do this and went to see a friend named Ivan who also had a boat.
When Abigail told Ivan her problem, he said he was too busy to help her out and didn't want to get involved. Abigail, feeling that she had no other choice, returned to Sinbad and told him she would agree to his plan.
When Abigail returned the repaired glasses to Gregory, she told him what she had had to do. Gregory was appalled at what she had done and told her he never wanted to see her again.
Abigail, upset, told another friend, Slug, her tale of woe. Slug was so sorry for Abigail that he promised her he would get even with Gregory. They went to the school playground where Gregory was playing ball and Abigail watched happily while Slug beat Gregory up and broke his glasses again.
Rank the five characters from most offensive to least
objectionable where 1 = worst.
five characters from most offensive to least
objectionable where 1 = worst. Post your rankings to the
Discussion Group and briefly explain your reason for
your ranking. (NOTE: There are no "right"
Putting Theory Into Practice
Lunch or Coffee
|To truly understand networking, you have to do it.
Invite someone you know or have been wanting to get to know to
lunch or coffee and start building your network. Report on