Why women are such bad networkers
It’s no good thinking that hard work will get you anywhere. If you want to make it to the top, you’re going to have to overcome your fear of socialising and start schmoozing like men.
The champagne is not working. The canapé is just an embarassing stain waiting to happen. You’re trapped in a corner listening to your junior from accounts complain about his manager. In the centre of the room is the boss and swirling around him are the golden ones, the annointed next generation. Confident, brazen in their ambition and male.
Women are not natural networkers. We might be more capable in the workplace, but we are more likely than our male peers to hide our talents and our selves behind the water cooler at the company do. And this failure to schmooze is holding us back. More than 50 years after the second-wave feminists smashed their way into the workplace, corporate UK is still overwhelmingly male. Just 10 per cent of board members of FTSE 100 companies are women. Some 25 of Britain’s biggest companies have no women at the top at all.
“It’s a complete scandal,” says Professor Lynda Gratton, of the London Business School (LBS). “Only the most exceptional women make it to the board, yet the boards of UK companies are full of men who are not in the least bit exceptional.”