Women and network leaders have been contacting me all year to ask me how to get Swedish women more involved in international networks. I have to admit I have been asking myself the same question. We all work, we have the classic double duty of being in charge of the home and family as well as our careers. But it is not simply a matter of time. We are not placing a high enough priority on our needs for connecting. Is it lack of ambition? I definitely do not think so. But a culture opposed to risk taking might be a better explanation. The women I meet who do “get out” are quite exceptional and not what I would call “typically Swedish” in that regard.
As my adopted home country, I feel it is my duty to try to do what I can to remedy this. I have met so many wonderful women around the world and at home. I just can’t imagine them not benefiting from interacting with one another. Whether it be for social, professional or personal reasons, we all have something to gain from the interaction. Even if it is simply to get a fresh perspective. Or even better to realize that often our views are the same once the cultural blinders are removed.
So here is my shout out. Ladies, you have nothing to lose but a missed opportunity. Take a chance, reach out, try a new network, attend an event, treat yourself to a weekend away and enjoy the new connections you can make and the richness that they add to your life.