Updated: Apr 24
It's no secret that women have faced countless obstacles on their path to leadership roles in the workplace. One of the most frustrating of these obstacles is the “business bros network” also known as the "good old boys network" – a term used to describe the exclusive club of male executives who hold the keys to the top positions in many organizations.
But don’t fret. With the right mindset and strategies, you can navigate this network and break through the glass ceiling. Here's how:
1. Build Strong Relationships
The first step to navigating the business bros network is to build strong relationships with the people in it. This means taking the time to get to know these individuals on a personal level, finding common ground, and building trust. You also need a strong group of hype women who have your back, as you navigate these new connections. Don't be afraid to initiate conversations or suggest a coffee meeting. The key is to make a genuine connection.
2. Prove Your Value
Once you've built relationships, it's time to prove that you’re a partner of high value. Show the members of that network that you're a valuable asset to the organization. Be confident in your skills and abilities, and don't be afraid to speak up in meetings. In fact, get comfortable speaking up first and often. Lean in. While it's important to let your accomplishments speak for themselves, you also have to be proactive in highlighting them.
3. Find a Sponsor
A sponsor is someone in a leadership position who is willing to advocate for you and help you navigate the organization. Finding a sponsor can be a game-changer in your career, especially if that sponsor is part of the business bros network. Seek out mentors and accomplices who are willing to vouch for your potential and help you get ahead.
4. Be Strategic
To navigate the business bros network, you need to be strategic. Identify key players and decision-makers in the network and understand their motivations and goals. Use this knowledge to your advantage by positioning yourself as an asset to their agenda. Be proactive in seeking out opportunities that will help you gain visibility and increase your influence.
5. Don't Give Up
Navigating this exclusive network can be frustrating and discouraging, but it's important to remember that change takes time. Keep your eyes on the prize and stay focused on your goals. And remember, you're not alone. There are countless women who have successfully navigated this network and risen to the top.
In conclusion, navigating the business bros network is no easy feat, but it's certainly possible. By building strong relationships, proving your value, finding a sponsor, being strategic, and staying the course, you can break through the glass ceiling and achieve the leadership role you deserve.
You’ve got this.