Currently, the world has never been more connected than we are now. You can collaborate with just about anyone, anywhere, at anytime. Without attending any reunions, you are aware of the goings on in the lives of the people you graduated from high school with. Even the simplest business transactions are a global affair.
This overabundance of connectedness brings many benefits. Ideas are exchanged rapidly, crowdsourcing brings about creative solutions to problems, and it’s more convenient than ever to keep track of those we care for.
As a text-ing, social media addicted member of Gen Y, I am a big fan of connectedness. I get my news from twitter, learn about my cousin’s engagement via facebook, and if you want to get in touch with me, please email me, because I really hate phone calls.
However great technology is for keeping in touch with people however, nothing can compare to or replace face-to-face interaction. A large part of my job and free time is spent planning, volunteering for, or going to events. One of the reasons I love events is the face-time they bring.
Thank goodness networking groups exist to facilitate connecting in person, because for women especially, having a strong and varied network is key to a successful career.
The “Good Old Boys Club” has evidenced this for generations.
So with no “Good Old Girls Club”, how do we as women make sure to get the valuable and necessary face-time with other professional women?
Coro Pittsburgh’s Women in Leadership (WIL) program is perhaps the best opportunity I’ve had to connect with other professional women in the Pittsburgh region. WIL is a twelve-week, part-time program for high-level professional women who are looking to increase their leadership capabilities.
The leadership training, the group project, working with a coach to develop a personal strategic plan, these were all wonderful. The most rewarding part of the program however, for me at least, was the networking that came from it.
For 3 months I worked closely with 19 other women, many of whom I would never meet through my existing networks. Even now, after our program is over, we still keep in touch. We try to meet up once a month, and in the meantime we let each other know about other great events and opportunities in Pittsburgh. We support each other’s projects, and its incredibly powerful knowing I have a sounding board of 19 other women to bounce ideas off of, or go to for advice.