I often find myself sitting in meeting with men. As we talk about things invariably the phrase, “I’ve got a guy for that” or “I can make one call and get you the right person for that” comes up. And sometimes, I’m the one who says, “I’ve got a guy for that.” But that wasn’t always the case. As a working Mom, I was distinctly disadvantaged. Who had time to network when you were busy juggling your personal and your business lives? But social media has revolutionized a Mom’s ability to network and develop connections.
As a working Mom, I would get up early, hit the gym, get the kids ready for school or when they were small hand them off to the babysitter and head to the office. And I mean early, like 5am, in my quest to have it all. Getting to the office around 8am, once there, I would work feverishly through lunch–eating it at my desk and working my way through emails and other documents. I had to in order to leave at a reasonable hour to get home and relieve the babysitter. By the time, the kids were in bed, it was time for me. So when is a girl to network?
Social media has leveled the playing field.
In fact, I think social media has given us an edge. Never before have so many women had the ability to connect and build relationships. Through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs and forums, we have developed networks that allow us to now be able to say, “I’ve got a guy/gal or that.”
If I post a tweet within minutes, I will have several answers to the question asked. I get answers to questions I ask on LinkedIn as well. In fact I must get a half dozen resumes and requests from companies a week from LinkedIn. Through Twitter, I’ve had companies reach out to ask if I would beta test new apps or would I write about their companies. The simple #FF hashtag or Hashable has allowed me to meet even more influential women. And if the women I’ve met don’t have the answers, they know someone who does and are happy to connect them to me. Social media has enabled me to become a networking machine.
Women are naturally networkers. We excel at relationship building as if it’s part of our DNA. We’re also eager to help each other even if we don’t get anything out of it ourselves at that very moment. We want to get ahead, but I don’t believe for most of it’s in a competitive way. More often than not, a favor given gets a favor returned. And we’re naturally good listeners.
Just this morning, one of the men I work with sent an email with a link to a new company that all of us on the email were supposed to take a look at. Many months ago, I met the CEO of Red Rover, Kathryn Tucker over lunch. She and I had found each other through Twitter. Not yet launched, I got a sneak peak at the beta of her app for parents. About two week ago, she emailed me to see if I would write a post about Red Rover. My response to the email was. “Do you want to meet her?”