How to Build a Network with Individual Diversity
By NETWORK. LEAD. EXCHANGE.
A diverse network means a heterogenous network. Network Lead Exchange explains how to find the right diverse members to make the network robust and representative.
There are many reasons every network should have a diverse member composition. However, finding diversity is not as simple as it seems. John Skipper, the former President of ESPN, quite literally searched for syndicated columnists’ representative of different races, genders, and backgrounds. He was floored when these lists would come back with one or two names. Getting away from inertia means injecting new ideas into a network. Just like Skipper did at ESPN, it’s incumbent upon network group leaders to infuse a network with diversity to make the network effective.
Find Different Ethnic and Racial Backgrounds
One of the easiest things for a network group leader to do is search minority-owned business listings. These lists have a wealth of information, and allow network leaders a starting point with recruiting the right members. When recruiting, take a look at the origin stories for the business along with the company type. Extending an invitation should be done with the same consideration as a normal invitation. The invitation isn’t being extended because a person checks a box, but because their professionalism is an asset to the group.
Building a Network Representative of Male and Female Professionals
Just like minority-owned businesses, there are plenty of lists with female owned businesses. These are great starting points. For networks run by men, it’s important not just to get one woman into the network, but several. Women of color are underrepresented in the business world as well, so any opportunity to add these professionals to a network should be taken. As always, do the research and make sure the invite is extended because of their perspective. Women have changed the workplace for the better over the last 50 years, and they’ll add amazing talent to the network.
Diversity Educational and Professional Backgrounds
One reason politics suffers from inertia is most politicians have Ivy league educations. While the Ivy’s are great institutions, not everyone has access to these universities. There’s much to learn from someone who started a business yet doesn’t have a formal business education. Similarly, adding people who are educated from amazing schools is important too. The more diverse people’s backgrounds are, the more vibrant the network will be.
A vibrant network includes people of all ethnicities, genders, and backgrounds. Let your network be one representing all professionals @ NETWORKLEADEXCHANGE.COM.