The “silent” challenge of creating equal networking opportunities in and outside of the workplace

As part of a journey to strengthen our culture of inclusion, we began writing quarterly editorials last year designed to stimulate conversation about relevant and sometimes challenging topics. The idea is that healthy and open dialogue is an essential prerequisite to breaking down the barriers to inclusion. We are energized by the feedback to date, and are excited to continue this conversation into a second year.

Inclusion and diversity are embedded in our core values and vital to our firm’s ability to understand client issues and deliver differentiated solutions. As we’ve grown to more than 950 people in 10 offices across the United States, fostering an inclusive environment becomes more challenging – but all the more important.

To kick off this year’s series, we review an article recently published website of one of our partners, the Ellevate Network: “Sheryl Sandberg Just Nailed a Subtle Way Men Hold Women’s Careers Back.”

The article reflects on how men can feel uncomfortable spending one-on-one time with the women with whom they work. As a result, they avoid dinners and other out-of-work events with women, thus limiting important networking (and presumably many other learning) opportunities for women at work. 

In consulting, and especially here at West Monroe, doing great work is not enough. Our success depends on teams, not individuals. Relationships matter and are vitally important to one’s career success. In our first article of the year, we discuss recommendations to ensure we create an environment where all colleagues feel they have an equal chance to develop professional relationships. 

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