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Networking Isn't Just for the Boys!
My Tips for Building a Powerful Network for us Girls...
I recently had the privilege of attending an all-female retreat hosted by an investment firm that was focused on networking, learning, and relaxation. As a moderator for the Female Founders Journey panel, I had the opportunity to share the stage with three amazing beauty founders - Nicci Levy of Alchemy 43, Amanda Bacon of Moon Juice, and Brook Harvey-Taylor of Pacifica Beauty. We discussed the highs and lows of scaling a business and the importance of building a network to support us in our journeys. The retreat was a fantastic reminder of the power of connecting with other like-minded women in your industry, and we had ample time to build meaningful connections, exchange ideas, and recharge our batteries. (I also have to add that the new Stanly Ranch resort in Napa is absolutely fabulous!)
Similarly, I recently spoke at an all-girls school in Los Angeles and was thrilled to see the level of interest in networking and building connections among the students. During the Q&A session, one of the students raised her hand and asked about the power of networking. I was so impressed to see her thinking about this important topic at such a young age. I encouraged her to start building her network by looking around at her classmates, as this is where it all begins.
It's no secret that men have long had built-in networks to discuss business and make deals, but women have been socialized differently. As women in business, we have to be intentional about building our own networks and supporting each other. To break through the glass ceiling and achieve our goals, we need to come together, celebrate each other's successes, and offer support.
Whether you are an entrepreneur or building a corporate career, building a strong network is crucial for success. Attending industry events, conferences, and networking events, and joining professional organizations provide opportunities to meet other professionals in your field, exchange ideas, share resources, and seek advice. I am a proud member of WieSuite, Female Founders Network, and Entreprenista, but there are so many more organizations out there, like Chief, Know Women, GrasshopHer and Fyli, that serve this exact purpose. Online platforms like LinkedIn are also powerful tools for building your network and showcasing your expertise.
Keep in mind, it's important to approach networking with a genuine interest in building relationships and supporting others, not just as a transactional activity. Share your own experiences and offer advice and resources where you can. By doing so, you can establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry and build a strong network of professionals who trust and turn to you (and think of you when opportunities arise)
Here are 3 ways to start building your network today:
Get engaged! Join a professional network and look for conferences and networking events in your area that are geared towards women entrepreneurs and business leaders. These events provide opportunities to meet other professionals in your field, exchange ideas, and learn about the latest trends and developments.
Leverage online platforms! Online platforms like LinkedIn can be powerful tools for building your network and showcasing your expertise. Create a complete and professional profile, engage with other users by commenting and sharing their posts
Reach out! Don't be afraid to reach out to other women in your industry and build relationships. Ask to meet for coffee or lunch. Or create your own networking event - plan a happy hour or a hike with like minded women you admire.
By coming together, celebrating each other's successes, and supporting each other, we can break down barriers and create more opportunities for women in business. So let's start talking, supporting each other, and building our networks to achieve our goals and drive meaningful change.
What does your current support system look like? Who are you leaning on?