Why are we so slow to prioritize female networks?
Coming from an organization where we aspire to become the role models of the next generation exiting university and business school, we ourselves in Female Navigators just don’t seem to allocate enough time and resources into maintaining our network.
So why is this? Are we really that busy? Is the input we give much higher than the output we get back, making it a less influential deal to enter? While the energy is mind-blowing when we do get together – the balloon quickly looses air already on the way out of our meetings.
But keeping focus on this magnetizing energy should be enough to keep initiative and interest at a high. It just doesn’t.
Unfortunately the interest for this little network is further difficult to ignite when seeking to affiliate with other – likeminded I should think – networks. I have been sad to experience that several attempts to meet with members of the board from the much admired Albright-gruppen has been declined time and time again. Noted, this is a network who on the front page of their homepage insists: “We are 50 women who want to make a difference for other women”. This goal links to the thoughts of the infamous Madeleine Albright, who, as the reader might know, “emphasized the importance of female networking”.
Then why so little networking?
Is network all about creating a private circle in which you are safe and kept “off the hook” from engaging with (clever) people you don’t know? From my chair it is depressing if female networking is only associated with the mean girls’ way of treating other girls – “we are cool – you are not” – which is certainly not the ambition of before mentioned Ms. Albright. Who can forget her celebrated statement “There’s a place in Hell reserved for women who don’t help other women”.
There is a reason they named it net-working – it is hard work if you want to reap the benefits. So get started and work on your network!