Why Is Professional Networking Challenging For Women?


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Professional networking is the process of building and maintaining relationships with people in your industry or profession. The goal of professional networking is to expand your professional connections and to gain access to new opportunities and information. Networking can take many forms, such as attending industry events, joining professional organizations, connecting with people on digital platforms, such as LinkedIn, Meetup and Xing, and reaching out to people in your field. 

Why is professional networking important?

Professional networking can be helpful for anyone looking to advance their career, gain new opportunities, stay informed about their industry and expand their professional connections. 

Let’s see in more details which are the specific benefits of professional networking:

Gaining access to new job opportunities

Networking can help you learn about job openings before they are publicly advertised.

Establishing relationships with people in your field

 Building relationships with people in your industry can help you learn more about your field and stay informed about new developments.

Building a support system

Networking can help you build a support system of people who can provide you with advice, mentorship, and guidance.

Gaining new perspectives

Networking allows you to connect with people from different backgrounds and perspectives, which can help you see your industry or profession in new ways.

Improving your skills

Networking can help you learn about new skills and techniques that you can use to improve your performance in your job.

Top 6 reasons why professional networking is challenging for women

Though professional networking is a very useful approach for career development, still it can be difficult for women for a variety of reasons. Let us see below the six major reasons for this phenomenon.

1. Gender bias

Women may face bias and discrimination in the workplace, which can make it harder for them to connect with others and build relationships.

2. Lack of representation

Women may be underrepresented in certain industries or professions, making it harder for them to find mentors or role models.

3. Societal expectations

Women may face societal expectations that they should prioritize family and caregiving responsibilities over their career, which can make it harder for them to attend networking events or pursue opportunities.

4. Impostor syndrome

Women may be more prone to feeling like imposters in their field, which can make it harder for them to put themselves out there and network.

5. Fear of rejection

Women may be more likely to fear rejection, which can make it harder for them to initiate networking conversations or to follow up after a networking event.

6. Fewer opportunities

Women may have fewer opportunities to network due to a lack of diversity in their company or industry, and may not be included in the same networking events or opportunities as their male counterparts.

Professional networking and women in a nutshell

Professional networking is a valuable attitude if you want to take care of your career. It ensures that you make connections, build relationships and the ability to learn from more experienced professionals, leading to job opportunities. Moreover, networking can also help you expand your skills and reputation, which can lead to career advancement and increased job security.

Nonetheless, women professional still face specific obstacles that prevent them from easily develop this crucial ability. There are ways to efficiently deal with them and we will have the opportunity to discuss them in a future article.

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Last modified: January 25, 2023

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