The Queen of My Self

Dr. Marcia Reynolds’ passion is helping high-achieving women examine and strategize their full and amazing lives. Her articles are empowering and inspiring. I posted her article about women’s love of power last week. Here is another interesting piece about our power.

The Power of Networking – Part 1
By Dr. Marcia Reynolds, AZ
In my research, I have found that today’s high-achieving women are confident in their abilities and not worried about anyone discovering that they are frauds as research in previous years described working women. Today’s ambitious women know they are smart and capable, and they love getting new challenges that maximize their skills.

One of the side effects of being brought up to be a strong, smart women is the difficulty women have asking for help. They not only want to prove they can do things on their own, but also don’t want anyone thinking they are inadequate.

Men seem to know instinctively the value of building collegial networks, both in and out of the workplace. There is power in numbers. Getting ahead based on “who you know” is the way of the world.

Women typically loathe this show of politics. Their resentment builds as they are passed over for promotions and projects because they don’t play the game. These women can complain all they want about gender inequality, but they feed the problem with their view that building an “insider’s network” is bad politics and their fear of looking weak by asking for help.

It’s time women redefine what “playing politics” means. In a study cited in The Real Benefit of Finding a Sponsor by Sylvia Ann Hewlett (economist and the founding president of the Center for Work-Life Policy), researchers found that choosing wisely “who you know” is essential to getting ahead in the corporate world:

What’s been holding women back isn’t a male conspiracy, but rather a surprising absence of advocacy from men and women in positions of power. Women who are qualified to lead simply don’t have the powerful backing necessary to inspire, propel and protect themselves on their journey through upper management. Women lack, in a word, sponsorship.

Sponsors not only act as advocates for their protégés, making connections and campaigning for them in their organization. Women who work with sponsors also have learned the benefits of tooting their own horns. The study found that women with sponsors are more likely to ask their managers for stretch assignments and raises. It appears that having a higher-up believe in you increases your confidence and organizational wisdom.

So, the fear that people will think you are weak or manipulative if you ask for help is unfounded. In truth, you are smart and strong if you ask for help.

Tomorrow: The Power of Networking – Part 2

* Please send me your thoughts about power. Also stories of your own empowerment. When shared, these ideas and examples are extremely inspiring to others. Thanks.

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to

Queen Mama Donna offers upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity.


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