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How to Build Powerful Networks with Successful People at the Top

Missed out on the Masterclass? Here is the Executive Summary that you can start implementing now, to grow your success and build a valuable network.

5 Key Take-Away's from the Networking Event

The business event masterclass last Thursday focused on how to build powerful networks with women in business. Here we reflect on the big learning's and take-away's from that evening.

The event started with an intelligent and provocative interactive lecture, by Forbes featured Dianne Beverlander, Director of Erasmus Center for Women and Entrepreneurship (ECWO).

First though, let's talk briefly about main topics: Women and Inclusiveness in Business.

Inclusiveness Increases the Talent Pool in your Company

Inclusiveness in the workplace and women in business are topics that all organizations are diving into by the masses at the moment.

The reason for this shift in focus, is because the types of organizations that people want to work for, are ones where you are valued for your work and result. Smart organizations are doing everything they can, to gain and retain this talent.

This is a do-or-die strategy because, by ignoring such a broad spectrum of the workforce, these companies are settling for a smaller pool of talent, to find strong and capable leaders for their organizations.

Embracing inclusiveness is key for any organization to stay relevant and successful, in the new hyper-connected era that we live in.

Women Leaders Increase Value for the Company

In the Masterclass that kicked-off the networking event there was one message that was loud and clear;

"Want more Women in Leadership? Turn up the heat. You have to make the change yourself and help others to be part of the new paradigm as well. Move forward or become extinct."

As Dianne Beverlander and even more so her research explained for itself, there is a huge lack of women at the top, in CEO positions.

There is a lack of diversity and inclusion at the top. There. I said it. And if you look at the figures you can see for yourself that, in Europe at least, this is the hard ugly truth.

Moreover, studies are splashed all over the news this Prinsjes Dag here and in nations where elections are coming up, of how this lack to include and hire talented women in business, in top positions, is affecting societies and even GDP. Nations are leaving trillions of dollars on the table, in missed opportunities.

The exciting part of this wake-up call is that it is an opportunity in itself. This is an invitation to do better and be better. This starts, just by showing up. Applying for the job. Then taking it forward, step-by-step.

There is work to be done and you are probably already thinking of what role you are going to play, to get it done. 

In navigating the way to the top, there are 5 things that you need to know to get there. We learned, networked and engaged on these five topics:

1# Where are you women? Be at the board meeting. Because you're on the board. 

Numbers talk. Women in board positions raise the share price because of their ability to manage and lead. Where are you? 

In Europe, there is work to be done. CEO and executive positions are not being fulfilled by women enough.  This is a missed opportunity because the figures prove that competence is not the issue.

So start applying to board positions, Chief Executive jobs and other Executive roles. You are likely more than qualified.

2# Be resourceful. Tools to get there

The audience of women in executive roles and management agreed that real issues they faced are much more manageable: Confidence and Resources to facilitate career moves, as well as building a tribe of individuals that support, motivate you and have your back.

So start looking for the tools and resources provided for you, to help you take your next step. Just like some of the reads, tools and seminars right here, at Eve & Elle

3# Be collaborative. Build your tribe

We all need more collaborators, not more critics. You'll get further in your game, when you're running a relay race, and not elbowing your way to the top. Build your tribe. Women standing up for other women and creating constructive ties and teams, is a very big and important movement that is happening now. It is an easier way to get there, and more fun because the success is shared.

"Learn to trust other women and build your own tribe."

Not just women, but men helping woman is just as important. So look around yourself and see who you can help around you, with the resources you have readily available. Chances are, one of those women or men will be able and willing to help you as well.

Don't think this applies to you? How often have you heard, or worse made comments like, "Oh she probably got that position by...", or find yourself judging a woman much more severely than a male in the same role. You're not alone. It happens everywhere and it has to stop. Now. We just can't accept that anymore. To get to the CEO position you need to support each other in getting there;


because the new way to treat women in business more encouragingly in the future, starts now and it start with you. So, Do learn to trust other women and Build your tribe of supportive women and men around you.

4# Be a role model. Lift each other up. Do's and Don'ts

Stop saying things to your friends and colleagues that make them second guess themselves, or drag them down.

Here are the Don'ts. No more comments like;

  • "You should do less. You're too ambitious,"
    Do not demotivate.
  • "What about your partner, what do they think of your career?"
    Do not give away their power.
  • "Which of you is 'the man' in the relationship?
    Do not question their role and responsibility.
  • "Are you sure you are being a good mother?"
    Do not judge them.

Here are the Do's. Ways that you can help to motivate women and even gain credits with them yourself:

  • Do listen and help others listen;
    by making sure women don't get interrupted or talked-over. Especially during meetings
  • Do support;
    and attend their events
  • Do recommend and refer women;
    by giving them a good referral or recommendation with quantified examples of their achievements.
  • Do motivate women;
    by suggesting they apply to a leadership role
  • Do be a role model;
    Take on a leadership role as a women, in whatever way that you personally can, or as a man, encourage women in leadership and share the responsibility as well as the rewards, in your own position.

Women have a wide range of responsibility, and that's great. Though it is time to stop second-guessing each other, and demotivating them. So, Give other women opportunities to take their next step. 

5# Be bold. Learn how to think for yourself

How often do you drive home and not have a clue how you got there? Or respond to questions, while you're only half-listening?

When we do this, we are not thinking for ourselves. When we are on autopilot, we do not fact check and think analytically about things. In a world of fake news, real news positioned as fake news, and everything in between, it is important to stay analytical and objective though follow your inner instinct because if something feels wrong, it most likely is that. Challenge assumptions and claims that may be false. Challenge the status quo.

Also, consider career moves that are slightly a stretch. The present model of business is that the majority of powerful jobs are in the hands of a specific and limited demographic. To shift this, you need to think for yourself and act boldly. 

Stop asking permission. Be bold and take a role in leadership.

You've Got this!

So those are the 5 key take-away's from the Masterclass. Directly after this refreshing and eye-opening lecture, the audience engaged in deep discussions and networking. 

The buzz of collaboration and interest in furthering one-another to succeed was to be heard, from the lobby of the building.

The event was a big success, and it will be interesting to see how these networks develop further - what accomplishments will be achieved the coming weeks and months to further these successful people on their own individual path. Stay tuned for the updates.

Often we are our own biggest critic. More often than not, goals are within our reach and this is especially so, when we collaborate. The bottom line is - You've got this!

However, for the moments when you doubt or forget this statement, do read our article on the Impostor Syndrome.


Networking Toolkit

Networking can feel awkward and scary. We've all been there, and it's okay that you felt like that in the past. You just didn't have the right tools! Now you can build your own powerful network to help each other succeed.

To get you started, we've put together a toolkit for you. It's got insider basics on networking from the Pro's and successful people, to help you feel calm and confident while networking.

For more on how to network, with tools and tips from the most successful people in business, check out the Networking Toolkit.

Nice to Meet you Eve & Elle Readers

It was great to meet with you and get to know you better at the event. We look forward to future events and the upcoming workshops in November. Coming Soon!

We look forward to, as Oprah Winfrey put it in her Golden Globe awards speech, "Some amazing women, and some pretty great men too", joining us at the next event.

Join us in November.

Erasmus Center for Women and Organizations (ECWO)

A huge thank you to Erasmus Center for Women and Organizations (ECWO) for organizing this event at the Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) at Erasmus University.

We learned so much at the Masterclass and lecture of ECWO, and were inspired to act, on the research and findings shared by Forbes featured Dianne Beverlander.

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We are Olivia & Morgan

So both in our 30's, with exciting careers including fast track to CEO positions, we met at RSM Business School during our MBA in The Netherlands. 

Always afraid to drop the ball, we quickly figured out life after 30 is not about having everything together, but more about developing yourself, knowing who you and what your goals are and ESPECIALLY  knowing how to get there.

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