Recent research has been focused on understanding what kind of network is most beneficial to women in their careers – and how that differs from a network that benefits men. An article in Forbes, written by Shelley Zalis, CEO of The Female Quotient, reinforces the idea that while men and women both benefit from having a network of well-connected peers across different groups, women especially need an inner circle of close contacts.
The author writes, “We need to reverse the stereotype that women don’t support other women. There is research that shows women in particular benefit from collaboration over competition. Study after study shows women who support women are more successful in business.”
The article goes on to offer advice collected from women leaders:
- Take the word “work” out of networking. View it as putting yourself in environments that give you the opportunity to meet with peers and get to know each other and share experiences.
- Prioritize relationship-building. If it’s not happening on its own in your busy life, schedule time for it.
- Know that connection-building isn’t one and done. Seek out people who you admire. Ask for advice, and follow up. Participate wherever and however you can.
- Amplify other women. According to the “Shine Theory”: When you help another woman rise, we all shine.
- Find your squad — and tap into them. Develop a go-to group of women you’d turn to if you had an emergency, needed honest advice, or wanted a key business introduction.
AWESOME posted another article on the topic in February and quoted research from Northwestern University and Notre Dame University concluding that a woman’s network may be key to gaining leadership roles.