Not too long ago, smart, ambitious women had little choice but to watch silently as they were passed over or, at the very least, handicapped in business and their careers due to the ‘boys only’ club.  They could only dream of working in certain fields; and the few women who were able to break through the barrier, had to compete for the one slot reserved for the victor.  Fast forward to today!   Although women still have a long way to go, only 4% of CEO’s are women, it is hard to find a field where women are excluded solely due to their sex.  Women are forging their own paths and have realized the power of stiletto networking—a term that has become synonymous for women’s networking, following the success of Pamela Rykman’s 2013 book “Stiletto Network”, which exposed the power circles of female executives and entrepreneurs.

LLN031114StilettoLLNToday, all across the country in big cities and the smallest of towns, you will find high-powered women coming together to support other women in business.  The competitiveness that once existed, due to a closed playing field, has been replaced by a sense of sisterhood.  Women are uniting to support, partner and invest—with their dollars, in the success of other women.  While business is the main purpose, these women are bonding, developing friendships, and having fun doing it!  Activities are the kind women usually enjoy and can be easily squeezed in between a busy workday and personal (or family) life.  Some of the most popular events are: a Power Breakfast or Power Lunch, Game Night, Spa Day, Pedicure Party, or a Sports Night.

Characteristics of Stiletto Networks

There is no concrete rule, women networks are unique but the most successful ones have certain commonalities, namely:

  • Members are Diverse.  Members from varied fields keep the thinking fresh and increase each others’ spheres of influence.
  • Use of technology and social media.  Women make an effort to keep in touch after the event via email and through online networks.
  • Systemized interactions.  People have different levels of assertiveness.  Make sure that members are given a set amount of time to talk about their concerns, what they need help with, and how they can help each other.
  • Connect with the males. Women can be pro-women but most successful women (and men) did not make it alone.  Most powerful women had help from both men and women.  Help connect your peers with high power men who can help them.

Regina Essel is a Life-Empowerment Coach and Business Specialist; and Managing Director of the Savvy Entrepreneur Women’s Network (SEWN),; an online Business Directory and Social/Business Network. Contact info:

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