Last week, Lean In Barcelona participated in the Barcelona Expat Week, together with fellow women’s associations 50&50, PWN and Eje&Con. Our session was titled “Work and sisterhood: women's professional networks”, a virtual space for expat women to meet new people, discuss the challenges of networking and share tips to build personal and professional relationships in this beautiful city that we all live in.
When I started preparing for the session, thinking about different points around the importance of networking, I immediately turned to the resources available in the Lean In site. One in particular struck me as the perfect piece of content to summarize why all women need professional networks. In her keynote, building effective networks, Herminia Ibarra, Professor of Organizational Behavior at INSEAD Business School, talks about the importance of networking:
Networking means more. More friends, more opportunities, more impact.
Networking means to bring diversity into your life: different people, ideas, information.
Networking with people that we don’t know very well could lead to huge opportunities
Networking should be part of our daily job, not just some activity of the side
So, if the importance of networking is clear, why is often not given due importance by many women? In our session, participants discussed some of the many challenges they face when trying to connect with other women, such as the lack of time, especially if there are small kids at home; language barriers; difficulty in maintaining the connection over time; the old belief that one’s work speaks for itself and that networking is not that necessary.
The pandemic has also caused additional hardships: “it’s even harder to connect when you are not working, or when all the relationships have moved online”, a few attendees mentioned. Staying connected is therefore more important than ever.
At Lean In Barcelona we believe that having trusted relationships with other women can be the extra ingredient in your professionals development. A safe space to share specific challenges that women face, to receive personal advice and get valuable tips to address your career.
Even if you start small, every step counts. Get out of your comfort zone. Make Time. Lean In.
Find the joy in networking in Barcelona :)
Fundadora y Co-Lider LeanIn Barcelona