Women business networks are growing up at a large speed and scale. They entered in a new era with the digital revolution. The Connecting Hub powered by Airbus and Lenovo feature this multi-faceted evolution as well as the future shape of these networks, sharing multiple and diverse experiences from the two companies women executives.
Cécile André Leruste presented the findings of Capgemini Consulting’s How Do You Get Wired? Survey, that sought to understand how people use their professional networks. Only 40% of the women respondents were actively involved in a women’s network. The main goals of taking part in a network were to share best practices and expertise and to promote one's career. The survey highlighted that 64% of women who are members of a network consider it has helped them reach their goals, such as ‘capturing ideas and staying informed’ and ‘cultivating professional relationships that can be quickly activated.’ Nevertheless, 36% of them thought that the impact of their involvement did not always live up to their expectations. The group discussion sought to dig further into this issue in order to better understand what happened and how to reverse this trend.
Video by Capgemini Consulting
“They (men) don’t try to activate the network at the time they have a need. They start building it naturally, all the time, early on; and when they need something back from the network they can activate it fast because the relationships already exist.” - Cécile André Leruste
Leveraging participation in networks
Following on from the presentation of the survey, attendees divided into three groups to share their insight based on the main objective they pursued through networking: enhancing their career, sharing best practices and learning from others’ experience, and strengthening their potential for influence. The key takeaways were:
- Identify the networks to join according to your objectives.
- Facilitate your entry to the network by developing strong relationships with people already involved. For example, seek to develop a mentor-mentee relationship in an informal way through a common topic of interest.
- The network should have clear objectives, a leadership team and a clear agenda including meetings and projects.
- Don’t be exclusive: take part in both women’s networks and mixed networks.
- Try to join networks early and contribute regularly to them, not just when an issue arises.
373 people responded to the survey in 10 days.
86% of the respondents were women.
76% of women respondents were involved in women’s networks.
64% of the women who were members of a network considered it had helped them reach their goals.
Thursday, 16 October 2014 – 9:45-10:30
Candice Blois, ASE Paris, Capgemini Consulting
Group discussion moderators:
Cécile André Leruste, VP Capgemini Consulting
Catherine Ladousse, Executive Director Communications EMEA, Lenovo and President, Cercle InterElles
Marie Alix Delestrade, Corporate Communication – Media Relations, Airbus Group