Technology has made it very possible for businesses
to quickly grow and development due to human connections and networking. It takes networking for change to happen these days. For great innovative change to take place, it must come from
women networking around the globe.
I would like to share three best practices through
which women networking are very effective for change. First, community network which is the very first and easiest practice for
women because it happens naturally. Just as the hen hovers over her chicken so
do women naturally network consciously and unconsciously to build a community
as well as a whole nation. You can imagine how diverse the community will be
with different social, economic, political members yet they will be of one
major goal. This reminds me of how women organize a communal labor from the
home, beet the gongon (the drum) through the community and an epidemic or an
issue can be solved. This type of community network is a nexus with something
for everyone. As you might have already heard from Hilary Clinton that "women
are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world, which means, women
have a lot in stock and they put more words into action on the ground than men.
For instance, women have the natural gift of nurturing the
home which has a ripple effect on the community, it is an inborn gift they have.
They make a house a home and spread it to a community where everybody can enjoy.
Secondly, forming affinity groups is
another tremendous way of pushing developing forward for change. Here, a group
of the same business women can have a caucus meetings and talk about how to
move forward. For instance women with disabilities from their individual groups
such as Ghana Society of the Physically Disabled women, Ghana Blind Union
ladies, Ghana National Association of the Deaf mothers normally come together
and form this affinity so that they can discuss issues which will promote their
business as well as development. This connection is a very great avenue to hold
government, stakeholders and others accountable for their actions.
Women believe in a common vision with a common goal.
Finally, an alumni network is another strong way to
relate to fellow mates in business and make a great change. Here, their level
or the standard of networking is highly intellectual so they acquire the acumen
to make their own economic opportunity sustainable. It is a very fast and
effective way to network to make great impact.
Although, there is no fast rule of networking, I
encourage you to use at least one of these three points and see the great
impact. Doing it with women is the best solution.
It’s All About Relationship Building
wealth is where your friends are.” - Lisa Kaiser
What does Lisa mean by this?
I think if we answer that question we will understand a little better some of
the best practices in networking for women.
As a business woman I see
two parts to networking; relationship building and the networking process.
As a business woman your end
goal is to sell your product or service. Even though you may have many friends,
there is a limit. How then does your wealth come from your friends? The answer
It is an amazing time in our
history for networking. Social Media has made it so. We must think of the term ‘friends’
as ‘contacts.’ The connections we make not only at live events, which
practically speaking are limited by finances and geography, but by the contacts
we can make on the internet.
Relationship Building or Creating Friends
Making a contact is the
first step, be that face to face or online. Just like in any relationship you
get to know a person, they get to know you. As the relationship continues,
trust grows or not depending on your input.
- Treat these
relationships like you would your close friends.
- No one will hang
around with you if you constantly push your product or yourself.
- Share your
knowledge with them.
- Give them a
little insight into your personal life.
- Let them get to
know you as a person not just a business woman.
- Go with the
If 80% of your content or
conversation is sharing information and knowledge your networking friends will
tolerate 20% selling.
- Create a presence on social media sites.
- Invest in a professional photo.
- Create your elevator pitch.
- Connect with sites that are congruent with
- Start the conversation.
- Be sincere.
Take action right now to increase your social media presence…it
is where your wealth lies.
An inaugural TIAW World of Difference 100 Award winner, Bola Olabasi, has perceived a huge gap in the market for women’s enterprise by establishing the Global Women’s Inventors and Innovators Network (GWIIN) as a way to encourage women’s innovation. This initiative challenges the perception that only men are inventors and innovators.
An important part of GWIIN’s program is the
European Union Women Inventors and Innovators Awards (EUWIIN) held bi-annually.
I have been privileged to be the Chairman of the Judging Panel at its launch in
Berlin, Germany (2007), in Reykjavik, Iceland and recently in Stockholm, Sweden.
The award winners are exceptionally
creative, innovative entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers, technologists,
designers from all sectors and background right across Europe and beyond. The
winners were different but what they had in common was: tenacity, determination
to succeed, commitment, extraordinary potential, positive influence that
transcends borders, contribution to the future and quality of the world.
From over seventy applicants, the overall
2013 Inventor was Ylva Ryngebo, Sweden, a radiographer who has developed
products to help lower the radiation dose, to make examinations safer. The
runner up was Professor Sheena Lewis, Northern Ireland,UK, whose research was
focused on male infertility. For the details click here.
Global Women’s Empowerment Presentation at Harvard Conference in Dubai
by Kelly Watkins, President of Expressive Concepts
holds an annual conference on Asian and International Relations for students
from all over the globe. I was honored
to be invited to speak on "Global Women’s Empowerment” at the 2013 conference
in Dubai. For me, it was a treat to
return to Dubai. I have been working
there since 2007.
of the five-day conference was to expose students to multiple issues - political,
social, economic, cultural, and business.
During my presentation I was able to share information about the TIAW
organization. In addition, I highlighted
both our microfinance programs and our TIAW World of Difference Awards.
500 delegates at the event. These
students were the best of the best … not just because they were smart, but
because they cared. They were so
concerned about the future of this planet that they were willing to travel
half-way across it – to meet, discuss, and learn.
attendees didn't just register and show up.
There was a rigorous selection process.
Students even had to write an essay.
(Any college student who willingly writes a volunteer essay wins extra
points in my judgment!)
The energy in
the hallways was electrifying. I could
almost see the lightning bolts of electricity bouncing off the students, as
they gathered to talk and share. It was
energizing and inspiring.
In our crazy
world, it is tempting to focus on the negative and fear for the future. After interacting with this phenomenal group
of student leaders, I was reassured that our future is in good hands.
Dubai, I also had the opportunity to speak for another group of amazing people,
the Dubai Business Women’s Council (DBWC).
They asked me to share "Insights for Global Women Leaders.” Both the President (Raja Al Gurg) and Vice
President (Faiza Al Sayed) of DBWC are past recipients of the TIAW World of
Women’s Leadership is an important issue in the Middle East. Because of my expertise on this topic, I
received a lot of PR during my trip.
Sure, it is nice to receive publicity.
Yet, it is even nicer to share that exposure with TIAW. The 12+ newspaper articles and two feature
magazine articles all included a reference to TIAW, and to my role as Global
TIAW is a
great organization. Hopefully, we can
all do our part to spread the word to the world.
Kelly Watkins is a
Thought Leader on Global Women’s Leadership.
She shares her experiences from all 7 continents to improve corporate
effectiveness through employee development.
For articles & resources: www.KeepCustomers.com and www.LeadershipGlobalWomen.com.
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