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Surely there’s more to networking (and business) than chocolate

What is it with this entire industry that’s emerged around networking events for women?  I reckon there’d be a networking event taking place at any given moment across Australia in any of the leading hotels, convention centres or sporting clubs, all selling the opportunity to connect with other business people.  And it seems about 80% of them are targeted at women.

This week alone I’ve received no fewer than 9 invitations in my inbox to attend everything from ballroom breakfasts to luncheons to after work drinks, all targeted exclusively to working women.  So what’s that all about?

I mean, excuse me for asking, but when did we get so desperate to meet new people that we happily signed over our before-work, after-work and lunchtime freedom to attend these overcrowded events with lousy catering.  It’s not as if they’re cheap either.  So where’s the Moet?

But the ones that are really getting under my skin at the moment are the Chocolate Networking Nights which are organised by a women’s division of a professional organisation I’m a member of.  The premise would be that chocolate is the common language of business for women.

Seriously, is that as good as we can get for a common platform?  Surely there are plenty of credible  business topics for members of a professional body to discuss.  Yet we lower ourselves to the lowest common denominator – presumably so the women can make small talk about their favourite flavours on arrival.

Come on ladies, I think we can do better than that.  If we’re serious about business networking, then let’s talk business!  And for the record, no – won’t be attending that event.

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