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The network effect on career-building

October 30, 2023

More than 80% of women use networking to reach important positions in companies. A new report, published by Chief, a North American women network, spoke to 751 leaders in the United States and found that networking plays an important role in achieving great things especially in women’s careers, as well as generating operational and financial benefits for their employers.

According to the study, the majority of women leaders report that intentional forums like networking events or professional networking groups helped them land C-Suite and board positions, secure raises, and find new jobs with better work-life balance.

“Executives secure better networking outcomes than mid-management, and it’s not just due to their level. They display superior networking habits, such as choosing purpose-driven opportunities and engaging with their core networking group at least weekly, if not daily,” the report says.

The study finds that: 

  • 94% of women are confident that their network of contacts can help them advance in their careers;
  • More than 80% of women use networking to reach important positions in companies, such as board seats, management positions and to negotiate higher salaries;
  • Over 70% use networking to achieve goals within their organizations, such as attracting new clients, implementing new processes in their teams, leading projects with good results and saving money for their employer.

Employers should do more

When women leaders tap into their networks, there are huge benefits for their organizations. However, the research finds employers can do more to facilitate these connections for both the women and their businesses to win. 

“Employers should think holistically about how they support networking among women leaders. Internal opportunities such as employer-sponsored networking events are beneficial, but they are not enough,” the authors highlight.

Overall, 64% of the professional women surveyed say they met the people in their network through their current employer. Workplace connections are valuable, but women leaders stand to benefit by expanding their networks to hear fresh perspectives, stay abreast of emerging trends, and increase visibility within and beyond their industry. 

“If organizations do not provide sufficient time and funding for women to attend events and conferences, participate in networking groups, or join professional associations, women will continue to make do with approaches that are more readily available and less directly beneficial — to the detriment of their careers and their employers,” they conclude.

Source: Chief Networking Study