Men savvier networkers than women - study

NEW YORK Mon Jun 27, 2011 5:21am EDT

A woman uses a computer keyboard in this photo illustration taken in Sydney June 23, 2011. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne

A woman uses a computer keyboard in this photo illustration taken in Sydney June 23, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Tim Wimborne

NEW YORK (Reuters) - When it comes to professional networking, men around the world are savvier than women, according to new data.

Business networking site LinkedIn, which analyzed information from members in 13 countries, found men were the overwhelming winners in networking.

"Men are broader and quicker at assessing if there is an opportunity," said Nicole Williams, the company's connection director. "They are quicker to makes moves."

The company, which has more than 100 members worldwide, defined online professional networking savviness in two ways: a ratio of the number of connections men and women have; and the ratio of male members on the site to female members.

They found that women, often seen as better communicators and relationship builders, are less likely to extend themselves for fear of rejection.

"Networking is seen as inherently risky," Williams explained. "We take rejection more personally when asking for a raise, promotion or connections."

Instead women are better at developing deeper networks, while men aim for a network with more breadth. With the U.S. job marketing still struggling, Williams said networking now is all about who you know in order to generate opportunities.

"Networking in an economy like this is key to finding opportunities," she said. "A qualified referral is so essential in the market place. You have to actively be looking for people to connect with."

When it came to making contacts among executives, women were savviest in Australia, the Netherlands and Britain, while men were ahead of the game in Italy.

The findings also showed that the minority sex in industries were often more aggressive and successful networkers. For example, women in Brazil and Canada in the assumedly male dominated ship building industry, make the most contacts.

"As the minority, you are using any in and every available resource," Williams explained. "You are looking at all opportunities."

She cited a similarly surprising example in the cosmetics industry in the U.S., where men are the most effective networkers. But women excelled in the ranching and tobacco industries.

The U.S., Canada, France, Germany, India, Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain and Britain were included in the study.

(Reporting by Paula Rogo; Editing by Patricia Reaney)

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