Naked Women, Not Children, Acceptable When Networking
I was taken aback by Dave Pell’s lead-in to a link to an article entitled, “How To Combine Networking And Playdates” in his January 25, 2016, edition of NextDraft, a publication I really enjoy. He said, simply, “This could be the most disturbing headline in the history of business.” The most disturbing headline. The article suggests that working mothers balancing their time between their children’s activities and their business development efforts seek out other women with similar business interests and children of similar ages so the women can network while supervising their children’s playdates. I emailed Dave: “I think you got it wrong with [your lead-in]. For all the business deals that happen in the men’s room, at strip clubs, and on golf courses, what is wrong with women utilizing the social opportunities unique to them to make some headway in the business world? Think outside of the (sand)box.” Dave did me the courtesy of responding: “The kids part makes it different.” Dave must think this reason is self-explanatory, because that’s all he wrote. Apparently it is still acceptable for men to engage in deal-making at the places and times that are exclusive to or dominated by men, but it is disturbing to think that women might discuss business while their children are playing. Fortunately, people typically don’t have to disclose the when and where of how they made a professional connection. People who are horrified at the thought that women could be networking in the presence of children (but not, apparently, at men networking in a strip club) would likely be shocked to find out just how many business connections have been made that way.