How can women create
and use professional science and technology networks more
Director, New Product Development, Agere Technologies
Senior Scientist, Womens Health Research Institute,
The workshop began
with an ice-breaker that was also an unannounced exercise.
Participants walked around the room and introduced themselves
to others for about three minutes. Each participant was asked
to relate what she remembered about each person. The exercise
made three points.
- Those introducing
themselves learned what people in the room heard from them
as they introduced themselves in a "cocktail party"
- Each person
discovered how well she listened to people introducing themselves
compared to others in the room who also met the same person.
- All then could
also draw the conclusion that it is helpful to have an "elevator
speech" a few lines that you can recite about
yourself, your job, your goals, whats important to
you if you run into someone you want to meet and
have a limited time to share this information.
The workshop arrived
at a consensus definition of networking: "improving
communication with other people."
People viewed networking
as expanding their contact base. People use networking to
find opportunities, to get information or a job, to meet other
people. It also provides new experiences. Several people looking
for jobs said that they would like to learn how to meet and
interact with high-power people who may be helpful in their
careers; they viewed selling themselves as an important part
of networking. Others further on in their careers saw networking
as both give and take, in which they were offering information
and help as much or more than receiving it. Having a network
of experts you can consult on your job can help increase your
offers an opportunity to feel a sense of connection and engagement
with others that may have a common interest with you. And,
it can be general, such as meeting other women in science,
or specific, such as trying to meet a particular person who
can help you out in your job.
how, when and where to network? How to introduce yourself,
what is the protocol? How can we improve our networks? What
is an informational interview and how to conduct one? And
how do we maintain our networks?
How, when and where
is anywhere, as long as you do not waste or monopolize the
other persons time. If you have a particular request
in mind, make it clear and do it early in the conversation.
For example, "Id like to stop by your office for
15 minutes next week to get your advice on a decision Im
making." If you had met a person before, but werent
sure they remembered you, to feel free to say something like,
"Hi, Im Jane Brown from AT&T, we met briefly
in the Networking Workshop at the Bryn Mawr College Women
in Science Symposium last year."
network was a topic of some discussion. Some people suggested
sending e-mail messages every once in a while and/or sending
information you come across that you think that person might
be interested in. Several reminded the group, however, that
a fine line exists between networking and stalking.
Women often dont
network effectively out of insecurity regarding networking.