Backpack to Briefcase: The freshman year Professional Development Component

Last week on September 18, 2013  I went to one of the activities under the Track II: Major Exploration/College Planning. I had the opportunity to attend the Villanova Women’s Professional Network host Pamela Ryckman, Author of Stiletto Network: How Women’s Networks are Shaping Business held at the Villanova Room in Conelly Center. The speaker, Pamela Ryckman, was there to talk about her book, Stiletto Networks, and explain the importance of it.

She started off by saying that within the next decade, there will be an explosion of female wealth in power. Part of this explosion will be caused by the Siletto Networks which are underground groups of women of all ages that come together to improve and change the world. She first found out about this networking by going to a business activity. She was so impressed by this that she decided to travel around the country and interview these different groups so that she would be able to write a book about them. She wanted to let the world know the power that these women had. While she talked to the women in the activity she realized that not only are these women going to change the world in terms of business, but they are going to change the stereotype of business women. These women weren’t wearing the typical suit for women. They were wearing dresses, high heals and they let their hair lose. After that meeting she quickly began her adventure.

After the many interviews and learning experiences it was time to write her book. As told before, Stiletto Networks are groups of women who join to change the world. These are groups of 10 women from different industries (media, tech, retail, law, and finance) who help each other out. The groups meet once a week, once every two weeks, once a month, etc. and have intimate meetings at restaurants where the talk about not only their business but also their personal lives. As she stated, women are discovering what men already knew. When women join the networking groups and write checks, they are making connections so that in the future the other people on the board will help them out. They are also realizing that its easier to work together than apart. Women are financially tied. Thanks to Siletto Network women have connections in different industries and are creating new companies.

To finish, she told us 5 steps women should do in order to take advantage of Stiletto Networks:

  1. Go eat: meet with your group of women at a restaurant. Go to eat with one of the groups. Here, you’ll be able to find different contacts that will help you succeed.
  2. Believe in magic.
  3. Have courage.
  4. Take advantage of technology.
  5. Play with boys:  you’ll have your group of women supporting you but you also need men who help you find contacts and help you succeed.

By attending this activity, I learned that women can and will make a change in the world. I had no idea before attending what a Siletto Network was. After I realized that it is a great idea to join one. By joing one of the many groups, one quickly opens many doors for their future. You will have many options to choose from. Also, I like the idea that the stereotype of a business woman is changing. Now women are changing their appearance by dressing fashionable. It was interesting to see a before and after picture of the speaker Pamela’s friend. In the before picture she was wearing the traditional suit for women and in the after picture she was wearing a purple dress. It was amazing to see that she looked younger in the after picture.

To finish up remember what Pamela Ryckman said,

“In the next decade there will be an explosion of female wealth in power.”


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