Women only networks on rise in Metros
New Delhi: The global call of presence of women in the workforce has made its impact felt in India also. A steady rise in number of woman only networking events, seminars, professional has been observed over the past two years in metro cities.India ranks in the bottom five among 30 countries surveyed on factors that promote high-potential women entrepreneurship (innovative, market expanding, export-oriented companies), says Gender Gedi Index report 2014. In the Global Gender Gap Report 2013, India was ranked 124th on economic participation and opportunity for women. This
But the question arises; whether women-only approach will affect any change and usual stated approach like sharing experiences, mentorship, will result in any tangible career options for women. Experts believe that women groupings can be effective provided they go beyond the unstructured angst around glass ceilings and work-life balance.
A recent event in Dubai, Women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) is a nice example, where the conversation was led by working groups and defined talking points. This event’s success is being credited to agenda driven content and familiarity. It included sessions on raising capital as a woman entrepreneur, a leadership workshop, and a hackathon for younger women.
“The participants need to take cautionary note as sometimes women-only events become “pink parties”—and often, it’s the same group of women who attend them. Yet there is an urgent need to create space for professional women,” says a member of New Delhi-based jobs and careers community for women.
Clear objectives and defined goals are critical for networks to be sustainable. Following through on how members interact, and having a calendar of well-conceived formats, including workshops, training and coaching sessions beyond networking get-togethers, would be welcome.Sceptics often question this new development, they say that too many women’s networks start off with really good intentions but fizzle out after a few sessions. You need a purpose, a goal, upfront, otherwise it’s useless.