This evening was a women’s networking event sponsored by the umbrella team under which I work. In my 10 years fulltime in this company, I have never had as successful of an event as this. It was small, some 30 of the ~150 invitees, but it was perfect. The activities were ingenious and creative with a thought to making it fun to network. It took no time at all before the women were bustling around trying to talk to as many women as they could. Though the networking allowed many of us to break the ice and make new contacts, there needs to be a final step added. Something to help teach women how to maintain or sustain a connection…or at the very least to learning how to use the new network.
We heard at the Women’s Conference that women need to stop competing with each other and start supporting each other to get ahead. (I speak generally because I know it is not the case for all women in this or any organization.) I am a firm believer of this as well, though I am probably one of the most competitive. 🙂 These networking sessions help to bring women together and, at least for me, I have found women with whom I could not possibly compete against: Talented, bright, super stars some that I look up to and admire and may even hope to model after some aspect of them. If for no other reason, having this exposure helps me see what is possible for me at this company. I don’t know how this works in other organizations, but I have the feeling there is something groundbreaking happening here.
ps. it warrants a mention that much of the work done by these women’s efforts have benefited the company as a whole.