Some people call it a new movement; others say it’s just the way women have always been. Pamela Ryckman tells their stories in her new book, Stiletto Network: Inside the Women’s Power Circles That Are Changing the Face of Business.
While researching an article for “The NY Times,” Pamela attended a women’s conference of about 50 of the most powerful women in business from around the country. But they weren’t behaving like corporate CEO’s and Presidents. They were kissing and hugging each other and asking about their kids and they weren’t dressed in the dorky pinstripe suits.
They were women who were comfortable being women: feminine, affectionate, approachable women. But it didn’t stop there. Pamela found groups like this all over the country from all areas of life. Mixed groups of mommy entrepreneurs were having dinner with corporate middle-management. A broad-spectrum of working women, some just beginning their careers and others successful business leaders, were networking in the most personal way—friendship.
Today’s Women Networks
Pamela and Dr. Nancy discuss the sisterhood and how they both have seen 5 or 6 women plan and launch the most incredible projects in just a few minutes and (most important) have a lot of fun doing it. Pamela said that is what sets stiletto networks apart. They exist because they are fun. It’s not like the women networks within corporations. While those have their place, these networks are for self-improvement and empowerment. And because that is the goal, business and personal life are integrated in the relationships among their members.
Pamela equates it to carpooling and sharing driving duties with other mothers. If one woman is founding a business, another will step in to help, sending her clients to get her started. The same relationship skills that have been used since our days as hunter-gatherers work today. It’s natural for women to nurture others. In business this becomes a powerful force for everyone’s benefit. In fact, Pamela says that she has charted billions of dollars of transactions and corporate boards being founded and funded through these groups of women friends.
How to Create a Network
Pamela gives advice about how to start your own stiletto network. It’s easy. Invite a friend with similar goals and dreams to dinner. Talk about other friends who might like to come. Then build relationships and help one another where you can. Pamela says maybe it took women being in the workforce for 40 years for this phenomenon to occur. Women are finally realizing that they don’t have to play like the boys in business. Building trusting relationships is far more powerful than trying to out-do each other.
Read Pamela’s wonderful book about this incredible new movement and check out her blog for up-to-date business insights.