Do Business Breakfasts prejudice Women in Business?

Bacon RollBefore I ruffle a few feathers, I should say that I am not a great advocate of business breakfasts, largely because they occur at an untimely hour and disrupt my day. Additionally, I do not eat bacon baps or “batches” (if you live where I do), nor do I eat cooked breakfasts, except on very rare occasions.

I am actually more productive and innovative during the mornings.  If I attend a breakfast meeting, especially an early one, it throws out my whole working cycle and I am less productive that day.  However, that’s just me.

The reason for this post is that I saw a recent photo on Twitter from a local business breakfast.  It was extremely well attended.  However, I had to try really hard to see where the women were.  I managed to spot a few.

So what are the possible reasons for poor attendance by women in the mornings at some of these events?

  1. Women are still more likely to deal with childcare, the school drop or carer duties;
  2. It takes women longer to get ready in the mornings;
  3. Lack of confidence;
  4. Women are unaware that the events are taking place.

There may be more reasons and I know some great weekly breakfast groups that have a regular attendance by women in business.  However, I also know that many of these women have no childcare or carer responsibilities.

So what is the answer?  

Whatever time of the day you hold a networking event you are going to disadvantage a certain group. However, the next time you do, please bear in mind that many women work part time hours/days, have family commitments and other reasons that prevent them attending breakfast meetings.

Sandra Web 2Sandra Garlick is a Business Consultant working with businesses on business growth and strategy. Sandra also assists with event management and regularly speaks on marketing topics including networking tips.  

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