Be it a management student, a trainee, or anyone working in the corporate world, they all know that networking is important. Networking involves communication skills, the better your network is, the better your chance of accomplishing your tasks efficiently. But can men and women follow the same techniques and still obtain the desired result?
A research by Yang Yang, Nitesh V. Chawla, and Brian Uzzi show that a network’s gender composition and communication pattern affects the leadership success of a woman. Some important takeaways from the research are:
- Initial placement from the school, women’s position in the school level positions plus an inner circle of women interacting with each other determines at what job levels they will be placed.
- The inner circle of high placed women shows some extraordinary characteristics. First, the inner circle has cliquish ties among the women in the circle. Second, each woman is found to have third-party contacts that help them.
- This amalgamation of strong and weak helps them cross every barrier, and provide with job data and information for further placements or job searches.
- In the research, academic performance, personal characteristics and social network information of 4.5 million people drawn from email correspondences among hundreds of students who were placed directly into the leadership roles.
- After considering all these aspects, it was found that student’s social networks impact their selection to the leadership positions to a greater extent.
- While centrality in the school wide network also predicts women’s placement like men, high-placed women students have one thing more: an inner circle of predominantly female contacts who are connected to many non-overlapping third-party contacts.
- Women with a network centrality and effective inner circle have 2.5 times greater chances than women with low centrality and no inner circles to be placed at higher positions.
The Inner Circle: An Essential For Women In Corporate World
SheThePeople.TV spoke to a few women to know how they look at networking. Her is what they have to say:
“We had a WhatApp group during placements, where we would discuss the pros and cons of the companies that would come for placement. Not everyone had contacts but some of us had and those were enough for us to gauge the reality of the companies. This not only helps in comparing the various job roles offered and the pay scale plus also the gender conditions prevalent in the company. Like yes, there were companies which would offer us the same roles, but lesser package or some would also offer lower job roles than they offered our male counterparts. So yes, I feel that networking is really very important especially for girls,” says Bhumika Rathore, an MBA-Marketing student, now placed with a telecom company.
Shalini Sharma, former HR at an Indian Retail Chain, says, networking is important. She emphasis on the following points:
- Quality over Quantity is always preferable. Build your network in a way that provides you with quality information, even if it has lesser number of people.
- Diversify your network. It’s not advisable to always include like-minded people in your network. Diversifying will help you learn something new, know your mistakes and access more information from companies that won’t be easily accessible by you.
- Try to have a Non-Overlapping Network. If more of you will have common contacts, it won’t help a lot. So try to include people and contacts that do not match.
Anushika Srivastava is an Intern with SheThePeople.Tv