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Personal networks are the key to success, women say

Woman pointing to photos

Active networks and strong communication skills are the most crucial factors for personal success in the digital age, according to nearly half of the women  surveyed for the 2018 KPMG Global Female Leaders Outlook.

Asked to rank the importance of key factors to success, about one-fourth of the 700 women executives from 42 countries said their personal networks were most critical. A similar amount pointed to their communication skills, according to “The Digital Age — The Women’s Era.”

Thorough knowledge of new technologies (15 percent) was the third most popular answer, followed by the courage to make unpopular decisions (12 percent). About one in 10 of the women named “a good network within your company” and “access to predictive data and analysis” as important success factors.

Only 4 percent named quotas as a top success factor.

Should I stay?

Fewer than 30 percent of the women surveyed, however, said their next career step would be within their company. Thirty-five percent expect their next role to be at another company and nearly the same amount don’t know where their next step will lead.

Still, a large majority — 59 percent — believe their successor will be a woman. Though, at the c-suite and vice president level in large companies, that figure dropped to 39 percent

Nearly two-thirds of the women surveyed by KPMG held executive-level positions, such as board member, CEO/chairperson, C-level executive or vice president. Sixty percent had been with their current company at least six years and 37 percent came from companies with revenue at or above $500 million.