Before 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?
- Women are still more likely to deal with childcare, the school drop or carer duties;
- It takes women longer to get ready in the mornings;
- Lack of confidence;
- 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 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.