Last September, over 35 female leaders took to the stage to inspire hundreds of women in attendance for our Women in Leadership Summit 2019. Each one of our speakers shared not only success stories but fully revealed how they struggled and failed in their journey. Overall, the event was a success because women, and a few good men, came together for the same purpose – to lift each other by bringing their most generous and authentic selves to the summit.
We had a post-event chat with some of our speakers and asked if they have any reaction to the so-called “boys club mentality” in business. The way they responded to this loaded and controversial question was brilliant!
Instead of jumping on the issue of gender bias, they gave fantastic and actionable advice on networking and collaborating. And if there is one thing that you can take away from the Women In Leadership Summit or any professional gathering for women going forward is, and we could not stress this enough — start to cultivate strong female networks at these events.
Here are some great networking strategies from two of our 2019 Women In Leadership Summit speakers.
Create your own club! I have no time for that (boys club) nonsense.
Create your own culture and surround yourself with people who don’t play in the closed ranks.
Reach out to every person in like-minded businesses.
Think of who can give you ideas or help to refine your own. Word of mouth is the most underrated tool for all businesses.
Share your thoughts and ideas in the spirit of collaborating.
Lifting each other up creates a village of like-minded mentors and peers that will be invaluable over the life of your career.
Know yourself, what you offer and where your strengths and weaknesses are. And get wise to what makes people tick.
There will always be some people who fail to recognise the value that women bring to an organisation. You’re not going to change them, that’s decades of privilege that is difficult to unwind, but you should work out how to work with them. Once you’re doing that, it’s your responsibility to turn around and bring more women up with you. It’s time to refresh the club membership!
Seek out mentors and sponsors, surround yourself with people whose advice you trust.
Often the belief someone shows in you to succeed is enough of a motivator to do so. There’s a saying “it takes a village to raise a child”, the same goes in business. We are nothing without those who believe in us and help us along the way.
Rely on the people you know have your best interest at heart.
You don’t need many, but you need to be open to feedback and accept they are coming from a good place. I have a number of these confidants who I can tap into depending on the situation. They mentor me, and I mentor them. It’s informal but very powerful.
There’s plenty of opportunity to be gained from attending our events aside from the lessons that you can apply in your professional life. And the best one of all is building a solid network of awesome and inspirational women.
Attend our next event and meet Australia’s most inspiring businesswomen at The Empowered Woman 2020!