Ambitious career women are working harder than ever to reach top jobs but getting ahead these days means rethinking how they network and carefully crafting their group of contacts.
The power of networking is a lesson women executives have learned from their male counterparts. “Networking is enormously important,” said Sallie Krawcheck, the former head of Global Wealth and Investment Management for Bank of America and former chief financial officer of Citigroup. She recently bought the global women’s network 85 Broads. “Women tend to recognize this later than guys do.”
Experts have long believed that men and women network differently, which can have an impact on their career progression. And academic studies have found that one crucial difference between how women and men manage their careers is how they form their professional networks.
Men’s networks are widely dispersed, while women tend to form their professional networks in the same way that they form personal networks, said Holly J. Falk-Krzesinski, vice president of global academic and research relations for academic publisher Elsevier BV.
In turn, women’s tighter networks are built for personal support, but they often lack the wide reach of men’s networks. Women’s networks also are typically based on trust and first-degree knowledge, with contacts including old friends, former colleagues and other mothers from their children’s schools. Often, many people within a woman’s network know one another, she said.