Female Executives Unite

Published: Mar 31, 2009

Topics: Workplace Issues       
Although it's no longer unusual to see female faces among the heads of the corporate world, the percentage of women in positions of power is still far from representative of the world we see when we leave the boardroom. While women are well represented in some fields, such as publishing, advertising, and healthcare, they are still a minority in most other professions. Because of this estrogen-deficient reality, women have begun creating rooms of their own to meet and schmooze.

Through its chapters across the country, the National Association of Female Executives (NAFE) offers regular meet 'n' schmooze opportunities. NAFE group meetings take place at least once a month and often are centered around speakers. However, time is usually set aside either before or after speeches for members to schmooze with each other, National Director Melissa Wahl says.

NAFE chooses to work through smaller groups because they prove to be more manageable - key for many women. "The smaller, local meetings demand less time away from work, and benefit many women because they don't take time away from family responsibilities," Wahl says.

"Smaller meetings also allow members to cater the groups to the needs of the area," she continues. In New York, NAFE members have formed groups that focus on different career fields, such as computing and finance; there is also a group in New York for lesbians in the business world. The Los Angeles area has a network group formed by and for African American women.

Traveling members of NAFE who want to drop in on groups in other areas can find out about meetings from the organization's magazine or web site.