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“Male peers socialize without me. What should I do?”

Sunday, June 1, 2014  
Posted by: Barbara Francella
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By Trudy Bourgeois

The men on my team often socialize outside of work, something my responsibilities outside the office doesn't allow. Am I missing out?

Unfortunately, the good ol’ boys’ clubs are alive and well in corporate America today. As a result, they like to hang out together. And there’s nothing wrong with that, but business decisions often get made during those off-site or afternoon activities. This has put you in a situation where you could be negatively impacted.

So, to answer your question: Yes, you are missing out. But you can do something about it.

As a business leader, you have to build strategic relationships to win. And leveraging those relationships requires time. If you can’t attend activities after hours, then you will have to create other opportunities to get the inside scoop about what happens in those "special evenings” or golf outings.

Simply put, you need a peer ally. But getting a peer ally is easier said than done. The current compensation systems in corporate America don’t promote collaboration, even though collaboration is exactly what your company may say it wants in its leaders.

Be intentional about "putting yourself in the mix.” Whether it is breakfast, lunch or just hanging out in your peers’ offices, you need to make sure your voice is heard (and that their voices are heard).

Trudy Bourgeois is happy to answer your career questions. Please email them to NEW Communications Manager Barbara Grondin Francella.

Trudy Bourgeois is founder and CEO of
The Center for Workforce Excellence and NEW Executive Leaders Forum conference designer.

Views expressed in signed blogs and user comments are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Network of Executive Women or its Officers, Board members and sponsors.

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