Women of Power: Let the Networking Begin

I’ve just arrived at the Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit in Orlando, Florida.

As I sat on the plane awaiting departure I was excited yet nervous about the prospects that awaited me as a first-time attendee at the fourth annual event.

As I consider the journey, I have a confession to make: I don’t like networking. Why? Because I am shy. But Enid Jackson didn’t raise a fool. Just because I don’t like networking, doesn’t mean I don’t do it — or that I am bad at it. I suspect that I am not the only one out there who may not like, but fully understands the benefits of networking.

I force myself to talk to at least three people if I go to an event and at the end of the evening I am much the richer for it. And I’ve usually connected with more than my minimum requirement.

I am looking forward to attending this afternoon’s Power Networking Workshop, led by Debra Langford, who is the vice president of strategic sourcing at Time Warner. She’ll be giving “a crash course on the whens, whys, and hows of effective networking.”

Later this evening I get to don my glad rags for the Legacy Awards Dinner. Dr. Jocelyn Elders, the former U.S. Surgeon General; JoAnn Price, a managing partner with Fairview Capital Management; Mary Frances Berry, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania professor; and Leah Chase, owner of Dooky Chase’s Restaurant.

The Black Enterprise editorial team will be blogging from most of the sessions, as well as conducting offside interviews and quick QAs with attendees.

Check back later for more from the networking session.

If you see me in Orlando, say hi and share your experiences. If you’re not at the summit, read our Women of Power blogs.

Deborah Creighton Skinner is the editorial director of BlackEnterprise.com.