Networks are important for ensuring you not only thrive but attain great success throughout your career or in your business field as the more people you meet—and make a positive impression on—the more doors will open for you.
While you will meet plenty of people willing to help you out at a mixed-gender networking event, especially if you follow these useful tips on how to make the most of your experience, many women prefer female-centric networking events for several reasons.
Below are several of the advantages of female-only networking events.
They Help You Build Confidence and be More Comfortable
Female-only networking events create a community in which women can feel comfortable asking their peers for assistance. Whether by nature or nurture, men tend to be more forward in pursuing what they want, according to authors such as Suzanne Doyle-Morris, who wrote about this factor in her book Beyond the Boys’ Club: Achieving Career Success as a Woman Working in a Male Dominated Field. In contrast, some women feel less confident about shouting from the rooftops about their excellent skills and experience, thus possibly hindering their career progression—and their effectiveness at networking. Put simply, men are more likely to ask others for help or to partner to attain more success, while women prefer building relationships. The problem is that, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Female-only networking events make it easier for you to be more confident about presenting yourself, asking questions, and promoting your skills and ideas. Since you’ll be together with other business or career women who might share the same experiences and needs, you’ll be more encouraged to speak out knowing that they’ll understand and relate to what you have to say.
It Levels the Playing Field
“Women value authenticity in relationships,” according to Deborah Gillis, COO for Catalyst, a business research and advocacy group for women. According to Deborah, women can feel out of their element asking for assistance or advice from fellow businesspeople after just meeting them whereas men “seem to do it much more naturally.” A female-only networking event means that you’re not fighting for attention with men. It’s a much less intimidating space as a result, making it easier to achieve your networking objectives.
Especially for shy women new to networking, female-only networking events help you open up, training you to enhance your communication skills. Once you’re able to build confidence and acquire networking experience, you’ll be able to more effectively maximise the advantages of networking events—may it be female-only or mixed-gender.
It Expands Your Personal Network
According to this report from CNN Money, women still currently hold significantly less leadership positions compared to men. Because of this, many business and career women might have a smaller pool of talented people to create a natural network from. Female-only networking events allow women the advantage of meeting other women, allowing them to tap into a network of like-minded, ambitious people who are willing to help each other.
A female-only networking event also gives you the opportunity to meet other women with the same needs and interests as you, possibly even a similar professional or business journey—without the need to adjust being in a mixed-gender networking event entails, especially in terms of communication. As such, it not only helps expand your network, it’s also a fantastic place to find a mentor who understands you.
It’s a Time-saving Mechanism
The 2016 Australian Census reported that women still complete more household chores per week than men, on average about five to 14 hours per week compared to less than five for their male counterparts. This means that networking events specifically aimed at women help them get a step in the right direction when it comes to their careers, cutting out a lot of time trying to forge a professional network holistically at work—which can be challenging.
Also, make sure you already have your own networking goals and strategy before you attend the event. Doing so gives you an idea of what you have to do during the event allowing you to spend your networking time more efficiently and effectively.
It Will Motivate You
Seeing other successful women and hearing about their success stories really helps in terms of motivation—it basically tells us that we can have the same level of success as well! Anna Forster, an entrepreneur in the making, told The Australian that she attends women-only networking events in Sydney for motivational purposes. “When I hear about the success of the women at these meet-ups, it gives me something to benchmark to and to inspire me to work harder,” she said.
Not only are they motivational, female-only networking events, through the women who share their experiences and key advice for success, give us valuable insights for taking your career or business to the next level. So don’t just listen—ask questions and take notes as well! In the grand scheme of things, working together helps career or businesswomen create opportunities in different fields and industries. Female-only networking events help in this endeavour through the power of motivation, shared knowledge, unity, and collaboration.
Joining leading networks aimed at women such as Behind Closed Doors is a recommended first step if you want to maximise the benefits of networking. Being a member gives you access to resources, mentorship, advice, and other tools to help you develope your career or business.
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