What to do about…male/female mix of my network: 80/20

I noticed in December that my personal network is 80/20 male/female.

And I did a few posts on this recently that people engaged on 20x the normal post engagement for me:

This: Knotel = fast-growing technology-driven operator of flexible office. Knotel also = guilty of gender imbalance at top levels. Amol’s Network = 80% men. So I am working to fix my network as a way of fixing my company, tech in general, and Business & Society on this topic. I am networking with great women leaders to try to create opportunities. Any relevant ideas most welcome. A high priority for me.

And this: LinkedIn should tell you the gender and racial mix of your network – not just the count (“You have 800 contacts!”) It would reveal a huge issue. I have been asking for a month to help correct my 80-20 imbalance — I know mostly men. I got 5 intros. I need… 10,000 more. The journey to an equal playing field involves people like me fixing our own situation. Long way to go.

So what should I do about it? Here are a couple of ideas I have come up with since these posts.

  1. Choose a woman leader and support her in organizing an occasional lunch or dinner for 20-30 other similar women “who should network or band together more”. We did the first one last week for Women CFOs in NYC and I thought it was great. Key learning was: there is no actual other club of women CFOs or dinner series or whatever. We’ll do more. Here was the first event (private RSVP). 
  2. I wrote to some senior colleagues and mentors asking them to introduce me to 1-2 senior women leaders, purely to address the imbalance thing. Those first meetings getting scheduled now.
  3. There is a ‘hack’ I have for taking blind intros to people I don’t know, which is to invite them to an open salon-type happy hour I host on Fridays. Random interesting people show up. Mostly men. So this month (starting Thursday) I’ll begin hosting a lunch once a month on Thursdays and try to get introduced to interesting women leaders and rising stars. Email me!