We all know the old saying "it's not what you know, it's who you know". You may also know that more than 70% of vacant positions are filled without ever being advertised.
So there's no doubt that career opportunities are best found by talking to people and attending events is one key way to build your network and put yourself in a great position to access them.
I've also found there's no shortage of fantastic events. Personally, I see at least one every week which I would love to attend.
So why do I only attend a few each year?
It's simply a matter of logistics. Most events are at breakfast or dinnertime which, with a young family, makes them extremely difficult to attend. I find it incredibly frustrating and I'm not alone. I posted on this topic in The Career Mums Club facebook group asking who felt the same way and among the responses was this one which sums up the situation for many working mums perfectly:
"Yes, always! Whether I can attend is pure luck based on which day of the week the event is set. I work part time so will attend evening networking events only on days I work so I can go straight after work. If its my day home with the kids, I won't go into the city to attend an evening event. I'm happy to attend morning weekday catch ups with kids, but can't attend if its a day I'm at work. I can attend a weekday morning or lunch without kids only if its a day I'm at work (and its near to where I work).
Are you confused yet? 😆 I've only attended one professional networking event and one seminar in the last 12 months. It sucks! ☹️"
- Kiren R.
Perhaps you identify with this feeling? Unsure whether to laugh or cry?
But in all seriousness, we're missing a trick here. Organisations are keen to attract female talent so surely this is a challenge which needs some serious attention.
I have seen glimmers of insight in this space such as Iluka Resources' Women in Mining events being held at lunchtime (with transport provided) and Fortescue's morning teas with creche provided. At the moment though, these examples are so very few and far between.
So I'd love to know...
What other examples have you seen of how events have been made more inclusive?
If you organise events, what can you do to make your event as accessible as possible?
About Anna Black
With 14yrs corporate experience and a personal career change under her belt, Anna’s helped dozens of professionals make life-changing career decisions.
Essentially she’s a Career Counsellor, but what she’s really passionate about is getting professionals out of jobs they don’t care about and into careers which make them happy.
So many professionals are disengaged and not reaching their potential. They don’t know what to do and in their hearts, they are afraid of wasting their most precious resource… time.
Check out other articles by Anna here.