Zeynep “Z” Ekemen is CEO and inventor of Silver Defenderwhich produces antimicrobial plastic film for high touch points.
We’ve all heard of the good old “boys’ club”. Boys’ clubs, by definition, are informal systems in which wealthy and influential men from similar social or educational backgrounds help each other with knowledge and social connections, both in business and personal matters, to keep themselves in positions of power. As the name suggests, women are excluded. These clubs exist all around us, from the business world to the religious, to political and social groups. These men regularly gather at power lunches, at country clubs and on the golf course.
It’s a well-known fact in the business world that who you know matters, and no one gets to the top alone. So what if I told you that a group of businesswomen got together to form their own “boys’ club”? Six of us discussed the need to create our own beautiful, gorgeous, powerful role models… and BWP was born.
Marilyn Monroe is often quoted as saying, “It would be wonderful to enjoy success without seeing envy in the eyes of those around you.” The six founding members of BWP know this quote all too well. Each a powerhouse in their own industry, we individually came to realize that becoming successful helps you realize who your real friends are. We wanted to change the story that women don’t support other women.
These women understand that the support of other successful women can make a big difference to our entrepreneurial success. From consultants to litigators to entrepreneurs to philanthropists, every woman in BWP is highly successful in her own right and has reached a level in her journey where she finds the most satisfaction in giving back. But we realized that while each of us individually has power, collectively we can really make a difference. The main principals of the group are educating each other, giving back and laughing a lot while doing it.
There are many ways that women who want to form networking groups like BWP can find like-minded women.
1. Your own network
We have all heard of the theory of the six degrees of separation. Any person in the world can be connected to another person through a chain of acquaintances such as colleagues, friends and relatives. Look through your contact lists to see who you may already know, or meet, to join your group.
2. Conferences and work events
One of the best places to find like-minded women is at work events. People attending these types of events are already there to network, connect and exchange ideas. What better place to pitch your idea to a networking group than in an environment like this?
3. Social Media
Social media platforms like LinkedIn can be a great way to meet other successful businesswomen with whom you may have already virtually exchanged ideas. Talk to women in your online network and invite them to meet.
I encourage all female CEOs, leaders, presidents, bosses and go-getters to form your own “Boys’ Club”. Let’s all celebrate each other’s successes and give each other a boost. Don’t underestimate the power of women who support each other.