In this piece, tech entrepreneur and co-founder of One Card, Michelle Shevill, looks at how women can maximise the power and value of networking and relationship-building in business through the use of tech.
Michelle is the co-founder of One Card – the world’s first, award’s-shortlisted, two-way digital business card facilitating the exchange of details to speed up networking opportunities.
I strongly believe in the importance of networking and creating relationships in business.
But for many, networking can be intimidating. That’s why I’m dedicated to utilising technology to empower people and help them make the most of their business connections.
Women, in particular, often experience unique challenges when it comes to networking. Research has demonstrated how women are rarely invited to participate in informal networks, which could mean missing out on key opportunities for career development. Additionally, the fear of not fitting in, or Imposter Syndrome, is more likely to strike women and prevent them from joining discussions in competitive professional settings.
This can be compounded by the fact that stereotypically, women have a plethora of caregiving responsibilities such as raising children or eldercare which can make attendance at networking events outside working hours increasingly difficult. With these potential roadblocks in place, it’s vital for women to be proactive about nurturing their own professional networks if they wish to advance their careers.
These challenges are why I believe that technology has an important role to play in helping women to network and build relationships in business. At One Card, we have created a digital two-way business card that makes it easy for people to share their contact details and connect with each other online – enabling note making, booking meetings, following social channels and the sharing of brochures or marketing collateral all from the same portal.
Technology can be utilised can further enhance in-person relationships. Picture this, you meet someone at a fast-paced networking event with a day of meetings ahead of you – it can be difficult to remember all of the details about everyone you have spoken to and what they do just by looking at a business card at the end of the day. By using integrated CRM systems, you can annotate each connection with the key facts from your networking time in turn building stronger, more meaningful relationships. By taking the time to reference those initial, smaller details in future conversations, it signifies intent, respect and builds trust.
We understand that technology can also create pathways to promote inclusivity and accessibility. Our platform has been designed to be accessible to people of all disabilities, including features that make networking an achievable task for everyone. We feel it is essential to cultivate an inclusive environment in the tech industry, which is why we fight for diversity and open platforms.
Post COVID, virtual events have risen exponentially so the implementation of technology such as QR Codes, enabling the two-way exchange of details digitally unlocks the potential of global connections you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to capitalise on previously.
Thanks to new innovative tools, no longer does anyone have to be bound by geographical boundaries. They now have access to opportunities that expand their global network and allow them to connect with peers within their industry regardless of backgrounds or cultures.
In conclusion, it is clear technology has the power to help women maximise the power and value of networking and relationship-building in business. With digital products like One Card, powerful opportunities are only a few clicks away!