What is your current role, and your connection with WiFA?
I am the Founder and CEO of keepwith, a company that teaches networking to companies, organizations and conferences worldwide. Last Spring, I delivered two networking education sessions for WiFA – one to WiFA’s broader membership and one to WiFA’s Board members and sponsors.
What accomplishment are you most proud of in shifting the gender diversity needle / empowering women in achieving their full professional potential?
I work with women and men, and people who do not identify as either. As a company, we have had the good fortune of conducting a substantial body of work in front of female-focused audiences, including WiFA in Hong Kong, the MetLife Tomodachi Women’s Conference in Tokyo, the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, the SHE Summit Conference in Dallas and the Women’s Foundation of Hong Kong. Given the role that networking has in ensuring one’s seat at the table (and keeping that seat, and creating other seats for other women), we all need to be building and maintaining meaningful networking relationships all the time.
Tell us one thing that is important for #CreatingTheWorkforceOfTheFuture
It is important that people who are seeking career opportunities utilize their networks and their networking strategies (i.e. their strategic relationships) to get where they want to go, rather than endlessly applying for job opportunities online. Increasing awareness of the critical role that networking plans in helping people to obtain positions will help in @creatingtheworkforceofthefuture. Talent acquisition processes need to be modernized and disrupted, in light of how important of a role networking plays in filling jobs.
What advice would you give to women who want to advance their career?
Budget a significant period of time each week to dedicate to strategic relationship building, and establish your core group of key advisors (i.e., the Board of your network); prioritize cultivating those relationships. Bring more junior women with you; help them to get to where they want to go. Do not fall into the trap of believing that you are “too busy to network.” If networking is building relationships, think about how silly it sounds that you could be too busy to build relationships.