In one of the conferences that I attended before, one speaker said “if we are not networking, we are not working”. Therefore, I promised myself that I will do a lot of networking now, especially that I recently started my life anew in this island city.
I have been seeing posts from a Facebook group called “#ConnectedWomen” since 2018, but it was only this year that I really had the time (and courage) to know this community.
Connected Women was founded in 2017. During that time, there were only a few groups in a few countries, but in April of this year, Connected Women celebrated its first Global Meet up anniversary. Last year, the group ran a total of 167 meetups, with 7604 registered attendees across 47 cities/locations in 6 countries! And in the meet up last month, the round included 32 cities in the Philippines, Pakistan, Singapore and its newest group – Toronto, Canada.
The groups strive to meet every six weeks, and on April 10, I was blessed to have met and encountered the beautiful and powerful ladies of Connected Women Cebu.
The meet-up was hosted by the ever bubbly Ms. Nizley Alferez and was graced by Ms. Laurice Alaan Chiongbian, mother of 3, and Co-Founder and CEO of Qavalo with a talk about Supporting Moms in the Workforce: Balancing Care and Career.
I learned from the discussion how us, women, can support each other by widening our Spheres of Influence in the organization, in our female network, and with our domestic partnership. Here are my key takeaways:
Opportunity is not one size fits all.
It takes a village to raise a child.
Refuse to be the middle woman.
I was dismayed to find out that there are still a number of women who are not provided with equal privileges in the workplace. It made me realize how blessed I am to be in a company that embraces inclusion and diversity – as shown in the female population in our upper management. Still, it is good to ask, ‘what can I do in my role to support women in the workplace’? In case our role is not able to influence organizational development, we can still empower women by strengthening our inner circle, building each other’s confidence, promoting long-term sisterhood, and recognizing contributions that only women are able to supply. I like how it was mentioned that there’s no need for us to lead like men, because women lead with heart and that makes us powerful.
I also like that it was raised that women, particularly mothers, should not function in the way they are depicted in the picture below. Let us use our influence to delegate tasks and not be the middle woman. Most importantly, let’s not try to “sweat the small stuff” and be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
One of the guests shared that in communicating what we want, we can try completing the following lines:
I would prefer __________________________.
I would appreciate ________________________________.
I would like to _________________________________.
What an effective yet finesse way of being assertive!
On top of the learnings, I am glad that I had the chance to enlarge my circle. I was able to widen my network – which is not just an ordinary network, but a sisterhood composed of talented, creative, fearless women. They said that there is “strength in numbers”, and to be backed up and to be connected to women of high caliber, you can just imagine how mighty that strength could be.
As I stepped out of the room to leave, Queen Beyonce started singing in my head:
“Who run the world?”
For more information about Connected Women, please visit its Facebook page.