This is a guest post by financial advisor Stacey Gordon, Managing Principal of The Gordon Group, a financial and HR consulting firm. Stacey is the former President of the National Association of Women MBAs.
I’m constantly asked the question, “why do women need to exclude men from their networks?”
My answer is simple. We need is a place where we can nurture relationships in a way that feels comfortable, a venue where we make the rules, and a private space that empowers us.
I dislike buzz words like “empowered” but when the shoe fits . . .
In this case, it’s psychological. When we’re not being judged by our actions, our speech, our tone of voice or our discussion of families and babies in business setting, we are able to put those perceived (and in many cases, actual) condemnations aside and get down to business.
It’s that simple.
We are judged all the time and we’d like to occasionally be in a place where we are judged less. Or at least judged on criteria that pertains to our jobs rather than to our gender.
The same is true for race or ethnic based organizations.
Unless he’s attended an all-woman’s conference, most white men have never walked into a room and questioned whether he should be there. White men have a sense of entitlement. They’re given the benefit of the doubt and the fact that they are leadership material is unquestioned.
The same cannot be said for female, Black, Hispanic, or Asians.
Ask any of them.