Women find it harder to build business networks

A study published by McKinsey and the LeanIn Organisation found that typically women have smaller networks than their male counterparts, and this could be impacting on their ability to tap into new business opportunities more regularly. The study found that there were two reasons for this apparent imbalance. Firstly, women are more reticent about building extensive networks because they have concerns about achieving work-life balance, and see belonging to and building too many networks as negatively impacting on their abilities to achieve this balance. Secondly, women see networking in the way that their male counterparts do it as being transactional and not genuine, with everyone looking to build a relationship in order to get the next deal, whereas women are interested in building genuine relationships with like-minded people. The downside is that because women don’t view networking in the transactional way that men do, they don’t make as many connections. Getting the balance right between these two approaches is perhaps the key to making networking count.