Who are the more successful networkers, men or women? You might guess women because women seem like the natural talkers while we tend to think of men as holding back. The facts indicate that men use networking more effectively than women however. Does that mean that women should start scouring the classifieds? No it just means that men and women should use their different styles to greatest advantage. Consider the following:
- Women’s networks tend to be more egalitarian and inclusive than men’s. Women are more likely to mention people at lower levels than themselves as well as those at the higher echelons while men tend to focus on people with power and influence. Men may benefit from network contacts with greater clout but women can take advantage of wider and more diverse circles of contacts.
- Women have traditionally been expected to devote more time to family and domestic responsibilities thus lacking as much time as men to build networks. We’re starting to see more women networking out there on the golf course for instance but that’s a fairly new phenomenon. To be truly competitive in the networking arena women may have to put more time into making contacts — and may have to ask their male partners to take on a bigger share in juggling family life and work.
- The number of all-women networking groups is increasing enormously in part to create the same kind of networks that are already entrenched for men. An all-woman networking group can be enormously beneficial to women seeking mentors and contacts who’ve already succeeded in breaking through the glass ceiling. These groups also can be an efficient way to deal with the time crunch that curtails women’s networking.