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Women’s networks have the potential to dramatically increase the productive power of a group that represents more than half of the modern workforce – yet many firms still treat them as ‘nice to have’ opportunities.
The reality is that women’s networks are critical success drivers for organizations that know how to use them productively. Their importance in building female leadership has been shown through numerous studies, including McKinsey consultants Joanna Barsh and Susie Cranston’s book, How Remarkable Women Lead. These are not coffee klatches or gossip exchanges. The top women’s networks are multi-level, multi-ethnic powerhouses that harness female potential to create a competitive edge.
So what elements do the best women’s networks share? They have a strong goal orientation, operate in an integrated way with the rest of the organization, and provide value as leadership incubators. By understanding how each of these best practices moves the bar, it is possible for your organization to create a women’s network that sets you apart from your peers.
Being Goal Oriented
One of the primary best practices of women’s networks or women’s affinity groups is goal orientation. This focus on an end goal – development of young staff, networking across division, innovating on challenges – is what separates productive groups from pointless time-wasting ...
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