How Firms Can Support Their Women in Networking

Joseph McLean

October 28, 2019

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Times have changed. If some years ago most of the domains were dominated by men, now things are a little bit different. Although they struggle more than men, women are open to challenging themselves and society by making a step in the so-called men-domains. This is a challenge not only for themselves but also for firms that need to find new ways of approaching networking.

Women are very different from men in terms of networking, priorities and forming relationships. This adds up to the challenge of designing programs that help and encourage women to network.

Why is networking so important? It creates the perfect environment for sharing ideas and learning from one another. It gives women the perfect opportunity to form friendships and gain advice. And this only leads to better performance and boosted productivity.

So, how can firms support their women in networking? How should they tackle this challenge?

1. Incorporate Networking Within the Workday

Men and women are different in terms of setting priorities. Women are more interested in maintaining a healthy balance between work and personal life. Most women go home to their families after the workday, so the traditional company dinners might not work in this case.

So, the solution is to try and incorporate networking within the typical workday. Some ideas might be to design an area big enough for employees to gather and have lunch together. This will mean they will socialize and form friendships that will encourage future networking between them.

It is important to create the right environment for networking, so having a space filled with bean bags where everyone can relax and chit-chat would be a great idea. Also, team leaders can encourage their team members to socialize more by having shorter one-on-one meetings. They can check on each other regularly and so encourage networking and sharing ideas.

For example, every Friday all the women from a company that works with expert writers gather in a mini-event called "Friday Share." In a relaxing and cozy atmosphere, they are encouraged to share their work struggles and give advice.

2. Integrate These Goals in the Business Strategy and Be an Example

Wanting to support women in networking in a firm is a great goal to set and work to achieve. This goal can be integrated into the business strategy and discussed with the management to find new ways to support women. This will make team leaders and managers more committed to supporting women's networking.

Organize events within the firm that encourage networking on different topics. Set some goals for these meetings and gather together all the employees that want to get involved. Of course, there can also be agenda-free meetings, where the sharing of ideas is not on a specific topic. But besides that, some meetings can have a topic to discuss. The topic can be aligned with the company goals or can be a proposal from the participants.

These specific networking meetings should not ban the inclusion of men, but to encourage them to be part of the meeting, too. Of course, there can be networking meetings organized only for women. But it is equally important to help them establish relationships with their fellow male coworkers. This will increase group cohesion which will lead to better performance across teams.

And, more importantly, being an example and taking part in these meetings will only increase the success of your networking strategy. Encourage women to be part of these networking groups and support each other anytime. Be an example and commit to helping women establish their network and keep in touch with each other.

3. Encourage the Use of Technology

Most firms might be inclined to ban the use of Facebook, Messenger or other social platforms. Managers might think that the employees would neglect their duties if they use these platforms to communicate. Of course, this is true in the case of some employees.

But this case cannot be overgeneralized. Facebook and WhatsApp offer great features that allow you to have phone calls or online video meetings from anywhere in the world. If the company is global, it is useful to encourage women from all over the company to gather together and share ideas. But even if your company is a small and local one, technology can ease communication between employees.

For example, some women from assignment writing services have established a strong online community where they share ideas. Also, it is a great medium to discuss everyday struggles and work problems and gain advice.

4. Encourage and Motivate Women

When talking about gender differences in working style, they are quite obvious. Men are more inclined to adopt an independent and direct working style. On the contrary, women acknowledge that they are part of a whole and adopt a more collaborative working style. Therefore, it is known that men tend to overestimate their abilities, whereas women tend to apologize more and be more submissive. Of course, this is not always the case.

A manager is important to create an environment where everyone is appreciated for their efforts and their role in the project. Women should be encouraged to take ownership of their accomplishments. Also, women should be rewarded and motivated to continue the great work they are doing.

To encourage networking between women and not only, all employees should be urged to share their ideas and opinions about the company. They should know that their feedback is appreciated and taken into consideration. Women should know that their ideas are valued and that there is no competition between ideas.

For example, in the writing business employees are encouraged to gather together and brainstorm on different topics. It might be a superior papers review or a difficult topic to handle. They all know that all the ideas are welcomed and that there are no bad or good ideas. All opinions are valued and welcomed and the atmosphere is friendly and nonjudgmental.

So, How Can You Better Support Women in Networking?

No matter if the firm is big or small, it can support women in networking. How? By creating a perfect environment for them to share ideas and form relationships. For women, maintaining a healthy balance between work and personal life is very important. That is why you need to design activities that will offer them the opportunity to network.

Try to incorporate networking within the typical working day by having a specially designed space where they can gather together and exchange ideas. Lunchtime is also an opportunity to network, so having a space big enough should be a priority. Encourage women to take ownership of their accomplishments and motivate them to communicate face to face or via social platforms. A supportive environment will encourage them to be relaxed and productive, and this can only benefit the company.

Opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of WITI.

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