Family Obligations + Networking She Says


An extract from Business Networking + Sex

The Survey Says… Family Obligations

Although family obligations were not a big issue to most, the figure below found that women generally found it to be a problem slights more than did men

Statement to rate: I find that family obligations prevent or hinder me from networking

Female Male
Usually or Always 11.9% (663) 9.6% (531)
Sometimes 25% (1394) 23.2% (1285)
Never or Rarely 63% (3502) 67.2% (3719)

Last month we cover what “He Says” about family obligations and networking. This month we look at what “She Says”

She Says… The Conflict Between Family Obligations and Networking

shesayIt’s 4.00pm and I’ve worked a long day, starting with getting the family and myself out the door early in the morning, to shuttle each of us to our respective activities.  In the span of a typical day, the speed of duties is breakneck. I’m running one child to soccer and another to baseball, picking up the dry cleaning, rushing home to get the kids started on their homework for school tomorrow, doing a couple of loads of laundry, putting the dog out, answering the phone, and packing lunches for tomorrow. At the end of the day, while I’m still in the middle of all of this, I hear a voice shouting through the house, straining over the din of the TV, that ask, “Honey, what’s for dinner?” I stop in my tracks and think, What is wrong with him? It’s like having one more child in the house.

As a mom, wife and business owner, managing my time is extremely important. I’m always seeking some sort of balance between those three areas.  Most of the time, I feel like the ringmaster of a three-=ring circus with lots of out-of-control clowns running around me. Before I learned the delicate balancing art of time management, I knew that networking was important for creating visibility for my business, but was torn between commitments with my kids, spouse, school participations and PTA involvement.

If I was going to a networking event, I had to make sure family was cared for in my absence. If it was an evening meeting, and I left the kids with Dad, I had to make sure he had something ready to feed them and leave notes reminding them to get their homework done. When I got home from the meeting tired, I still had to make sure their breakfast and lunch money were set out and ready to go for the next morning. Time permitting, I might even be lucky enough to throw a load of laundry before bed. This chaos and over-demand can be overwhelming and probably is the reason so many women choose to network less than their male counterparts.

The biggest complaint I hear from women is their inability to attend networking events because of family issues such as getting kids to school or daycare. In my own experience it made it difficult for me to network at times. There are more networking opportunities today than there were in the early 1990’s, so women now may have a wider variety of choices to accommodate their family schedules.

The very fact that we are so busy being the ringmasters of our own personal circuses makes it vitally important to make the best use of our networking and business time allotments.  Both genders can help themselves by developing good networking habits, meaning spending lots of quality time building deeper connections with the networks they are already part of rather than running around trying to meet more new people. This can be done in a very manageable fashion and will glean rich results from invested time.

This extract is from Business Networking + Sex (not what you think) by Ivan Misner, Hazel M Walker and Frank J. De Raffele Jr.  Contact your local director for a copy.

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  1. Meike says:

    I was so disappointed to learn today that my BNI chapter is losing one of its few women because she’s about to have her first baby (super excitinng!) and BNI doesn’t offer any kind of membership solution to accommodate her as she adjusts to being a parent.

    Please walk the talk BNI! Help new mum’s continue their valuable networking.

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