Women and networking

This blog looked at different aspects of diversity management already, especially the advancement of women. Today I want to add another dimension: business networks.

According to a song called “Männer” by Herbert Grönemeyer, men are lonely fighters. This is not quite true, because without insider relationships and networks men would have had a much harder time to get where they are today and many professional successes and careers maybe would not have been achieved.  But women identified the advantages of business networks long ago and started to organize themselves in  business networks as well.

Women Business Networks

There are many business networks in Germany these days, e.g. the Women’s Business Club, Business and Professional Women Germany (BPW Germany), Verband Deutscher Unternehmerinnen (VDU), European Women’s Management Development International Network (EWMD) and Victress, just to name a few. This broad offer gives women the opportunity to make use of the many advantages of those networks.

Advantages of business network include making contacts and meeting new, interesting people, exchanging experiences and know-how, supporting and consulting each other on career questions, being a role model for other women and demonstrating as well as creating self-confidence.

Besides all those advantages, there are some questions arising to me: Is it good to follow men’s example and as a woman only network with other women? Are women adapting too much to men’s habits? Do they become implausible by doing so? Wouldn’t it be more reasonable to meet in mixed groups with both men and women and pick the best from both gender’s habits and profit from it?

In my opinion it would make more sense to create mixed networks and, at some point in the future, abolish the strictly separated men or women business networks in our heads and start to benefit from the synergies that might appear by mixing up the networks. Men can learn from women and of course the other way around too. Why not start now to change the existing habits and patterns and take some of the meaning away from the gender issue?

5 Responses to “Women and networking”
  1. diiasg says:

    I agree. Although each individual situation can be analyzed and approached differently, I generally believe in the American saying “if it aint broke dont fix it”. However, the world would not be where it is today if boundaries and norms hadn’t been questioned. Very interesting post.

  2. martinjaja says:

    Thank you Katrin for this great post. It really highlights an issue. Networking is becoming more and more important these days – especially with regard to promotions. However, it is a really difficult issue trying to merge men and women networks. They do different things. For example, how many women would go to play soccer after work? This is actually a very good place for networking. But what would be the solution for that?

  3. Izzy says:

    I fall in line with the prior comments. This is a great post, I haven’t heard that much about women networks yet. Maybe, their problem is also, that some of these networks kind of seem to act as exclusive clubs which are only for women who are “professionals”, “business women” or entrepreneurs and that others are afraid to join or aren’t even accepted? Martin also brings up a good point, the fact that men and women often have different interests and responsibilities when it comes to after-work activities might be a major difficulty. The stereotype of two guys golfing and simultaneously closing a deal is hard to imagine with a women in the picture. However, today it is necessary to reduce our prejudiced views. My latest post “The Amazons” also deals with the topic of bringing together these two kinds of mindsets.
    So, I hope there will be ways in the future to mix up the networks, maybe tango dancing will become the new socializing thing 🙂

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] might be for interest for all of you. Katrin and Maria once related to the topic with her articles Women and networking and  Women 2.0. Until now, we have more focused on general management […]

  2. […] both agreed that in many cases women nowadays are not that different from men anymore. When I read Katrins post yesterday I thought about another song that I listened to recently which addresses the current […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: