I attended a women’s college. I believe that women are inherently leaders. I also believe–ehem…I KNOW–that there are barriers, big and small, that we face every day. One of my goals is to help remove those barriers.
On Monday, I joined Women Give and attended my first membership meeting. I met women from corporate, political, and nonprofit sectors. I was ensured my world was changing when one woman, not recognizing the enormity of meaning behind her words, casually stated: “I work for the man who sequenced the human genome.” I wish I had introduced myself first–that’s a tough one to follow (although, to be honest, the people I work for are pretty awesome).
I already knew eight of the members through overlapping social circles, so it made entering the room a lot easier. And, this is where I declare that networking can result in new experiences that can help you accomplish your goals while collaborating with others. While I’m a firm believer that networking isn’t about me–it’s about untapping potential in everyone and using our connections–I also have to admit how grateful I am to some of the women I have networked with (aka “gotten to know”) in the past year.
One and half years ago, I attended YNPN San Diego’s How to Build a Strong Professional Network from Scratch with Rosetta Thurman. Following the workshop, my now good friend Bunmi Esho, a very accomplished nonprofit director, started a monthly gathering of about ten women to mull over our work, career paths, and personal lives, together. The women have become a mainstay of mine, many of which have become some of my best friends. Through our conversations and the opportunities we’ve given to one another, I continue to grow more deeply into myself, attending new events and trying new things, including becoming a founding member of Women Give.
Since that YNPN San Diego workshop, I’ve built trust with women who have become a significant part of my life and a contributing reason to why I feel more capable ever; I’ve met women who serve as models of success, inspiring me to keep on trying; I’ve exposed myself to new knowledge; I’ve joined a group of women dedicated to developing female leaders; and, I see myself as a woman with much to accomplish in this world, both for myself and for all of us.
If you want deeper meaning in your world, network and find a collection of people to help you get more connected to yourself and to the community. If you’re a woman who wants to help women, you can join Women Give. If you’re an emerging leader in the nonprofit sector, you can join YNPN San Diego. I’ll keep an eye out for other opportunities. Promise to the do the same?