Five strategies for building a fruitful women’s network


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We at Everywoman have long recognized that networking is good for your personal and professional development, and now there is evidence to support our beliefs.

According to recent research that was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, women who had strong female support networks had a higher chance of rising to positions of high leadership.

Therefore, here are five things to think about if you want to start an internal network at your firm or if the one you’re already a member of hasn’t quite taken off:

  1. Select your team very carefully.

Joanna Santinon increased the EY Women’s Network membership from 1,500 to 3,000 after becoming the head. How? By carefully selecting her team of leaders. “I made it clear at our first meeting that joining the network didn’t make sense unless you were passionate about its growth. The talented and driven individuals who remained took the network from having about four events annually to 60–100.”

  1. ENSURE THAT YOUR NETWORK CONNECTS WITH THE GOALS OF YOUR COMPANY

Don’t just be sociable; make sure your organization is working toward business objectives. While the women’s network at General Motors contributes to the growth of the company’s revenue share of the women’s market, the EY Women’s Network operates projects for its clients via an external pillar.

  1. GET STARTED QUICKLY AND ADHERE TO A ROUTINE

Decide how often you want your network to get together and start with a particular event to invite people to first. Put these dates on the calendar as soon as possible so that everyone is aware of them.
Additionally, don’t think that every gathering needs to be big. “It’s great to arrange grand events every now and then, but it is the small and many meet-ups that breathe life into a network,” explains leadership development specialist Kate Farrow.

  1. Listen and advise

The success of your organization will ultimately depend on its members, so be careful to understand their needs. Having a diverse lineup of talks, activities, and speakers can help you appeal to a wide audience. Just be sure to provide time for you to get feedback from attendees and modify your program as necessary.

  1. CALLS MEN IN

The managing director of Avandis Consulting, Anino Emuwa, brought up a crucial topic at Davos 2019: “Once [a panel] has “woman” in the title, it’s interpreted as “for women.” Eighty percent of those who ought to be there don’t really show up. Men should be invited and encouraged to participate in the discussion on gender equality.

Profile of the company:

A women’s network would be beneficial to CMC Markets, a financial derivatives trader based in London, UK. The firm is mostly male, and many of its female employees felt they were not receiving the same advantages as their male colleagues, according to an employee poll.

The Diversity and Inclusion Committee then took action, creating a new women’s network and encouraging women to join for monthly webinars, seminars, and debates utilizing every woman’s material.

These are the firsthand accounts of two of their workers that we have received.

Collen Bohem, Manager of Operations, Reporting, and Control

“I believe that women may not feel they have the same opportunities as men for a variety of reasons, such as the effect of taking time off to have children or a possible dearth of female role models.”

I joined the committee that established the new women’s network, and at our first gathering, which had an introduction to ourselves and the sponsors of the company’s diversity and inclusion committee—both of whom are fathers of daughters—we saw a clip from an Everywoman video: Melissa Di Donato acknowledges my current knowledge.

Every month, we decide on a subject for our meetings, such as emotional intelligence or assessments, to mention a few. Occasionally, we see pertinent webinars, films, or just a few slides that we may debate in smaller groups.

Using the Everywoman material has taught me a lot about who I am, especially when it comes to developing a personal brand. Since there is no hierarchy in the group, members are encouraged to talk freely, ask questions, and discuss their worries. This leads to the major advantage being the networking aspect. I can now use the network to exchange thoughts and concerns, learn about current events related to a specific aspect of the company that interests me, and assist in putting others in touch with others who may be in need of assistance or information.

More women joining would be fantastic, but I would also want to see males welcomed since we will never reach gender balance without continuous dialogue from all sexes.

The UK Marketing Manager, Hannah Taylor

Since our organization specializes in financial services and technology, there are many positions like web development, testing, programming, and trading that are traditionally filled by men. Since women make up less than one-third of the workforce, the company’s dedication to dealing with every woman and proactively attempting to make her feel at ease is incredibly promising.

As a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, I have contributed to the establishment of our internal network for women. We concentrate on really useful topics, including managing upward, making the most of meetings, and setting objectives for the new year. Currently, roughly 20 ladies visit on a regular basis, and the reaction has been very good.

The main benefit of the network for me personally is that it creates a setting where I can interact with employees who I otherwise wouldn’t have touch with. Since the work we perform at CMC Markets is quite complicated, it is incredibly helpful to know that there are individuals in highly particular areas who I can talk to about anything.

We also support one another in our personal growth and provide a safe space for questions to be asked. We also have time for one another and can support one another.


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