To have the best shot at lasting success, it is important that women in business don’t remain on the surface of the business world. Business women need to weave themselves into an eco-system where they can offer and receive professional support. The ‘boys club’ might not seem as exclusive as it once was, but the playing field is still far from equal, and there are definite benefits for women in business to network and collaborate with one another.

There are a lot of existing networking opportunities, from groups for small business owners to come together and discuss their issues, to CEO roundtable discussions for the heads of companies to discuss theirs. There are opportunities for brainstorming, troubleshooting, training, networking and even access to capital through leadership communities who understand that a viable business can be fronted by a person of any age, colour or gender.

Many of these groups can be accessed online, which is perfect for those women leaders who are already challenged by time constraints. A web search yields many results, and locally based groups are often a good option. Australia-wide groups include Women’s Network Australia, Business Chicks and She Business. These groups offer online sign-up and content, opportunities to participate in discussions as well as information about live events.

Each group will have its own pros and cons, and each will suit different individuals. There is no harm in trying a few to find the best fit. What they all have in common is the platform for networking and collaboration.

By building a female eco-system we will support women now and into the future. It’s what we do well. Once the system is formed, women will be able to find support for whatever steps they want to take as leaders.

When women work together, put aside competition and focus on building each other up, greatness is practically guaranteed. There is still truth in the adage, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” Who can you meet to further your leadership goals?

www.soniamcdonald.com.au

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