- Is there a Slack group for women and non-binary EAs, specifically for professional networking and advancement? (I do not see a channel in EA Anywhere).
- Would you like me to make and moderate one?
- If there is one already, would you be interested in me facilitating the proposed activities below?
Rationale: One reason the most privileged demographics stay in power is that they socialize together and give each other opportunities. This is commonly known as an "old boy's club/network." There is some evidence that women hesitate to use their connections instrumentally in the same way.
Proposal: We have the opportunity to form a group for women and non-binary people where we challenge ourselves to partake in career-building activities that we might be disproportionately uncomfortable with. Examples:
- Match up for side projects together.
- We could base matches on skills we want to learn, cause areas of interest, and time we are willing to commit.
- Then we could help each other build confidence in the relevant skills, while putting projects on our CVs.
- Visibly advocate for each other. After we have a basis of experience working together, we could write testimonials endorsing the skills our teammates learned for their LinkedIn or website.
- While it may be particularly difficult for us to highlight our own achievements (and we are more likely to be socially punished for bragging), it might be easier for us to point to a woman or non-binary colleague highlighting them for us.
- This might be especially easy if we do it for each other in writing, because sometimes it's hard to bug your references!
- Sponsorship is important to advancing in leadership. Since we will probably be peers working together, it isn't quite sponsorship, but it's close.
- Stay in touch using weekly prompts so that we feel more comfortable calling on each other for favours.
- Having a strong network of women and non-binary colleagues might feel safer to reach out to for opportunities and favours than a strong network of predominantly male colleagues, or any weaker network.
Why women build less effective networks than men: The role of structural exclusion and personal hesitation https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0018726718804303
Gender, Race, and the Shadow Structure: A Study of Informal Networks and Inequality in a Work Organization https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0891243202016003003?icid=int.sj-full-text.similar-articles.7
Informal work networks new form of inequality: study https://www.reuters.com/article/us-women-work-networks-idUSTRE67F49820100817
Old boy network https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_boy_network
The hidden networking gap between men and women https://www.fastcompany.com/90277129/the-hidden-networking-gap-between-men-and-women
Networking is the secret to getting ahead. But white men are still dominating the game https://fortune.com/2023/03/29/white-men-still-dominate-networking/
Co-Opt the Old Boys’ Club: Make It Work for Women https://hbr.org/2011/11/co-opt-the-old-boys-club-make-it-work-for-women