I have often observed that male colleagues become friends quicker over common interests. Men also don't joke as openly with us in fear of offending us in professional setting and humour is an important factor towards friendships. As a woman it takes me atleast an year longer to create a similar bond with a colleague.
I have often seen such friendships creating a major impact on career. There were two instances where two my colleagues paired up and took major initiatives and brought great ideas. Whatever knowledge one had, he would share it with the other. In both these instances, these dynamic-duo pairs had a faster than usual promotion.
It could be a cultural thing, but I wanted to hear from other women in this community if you ever felt like you were missing out. If yes, how did you navigate through it?
I want to acknowledge that throughout my 11-year career, I honestly haven't come across that close camaraderie where a friendship directly leads to sponsorship or substantial career growth. However, I share this not to discourage you but rather to let you know that you are not alone in experiencing these challenges.
As a woman in the tech industry, I've encountered uncomfortable situations early in my career, but I've also learned to set boundaries and naturally seen some of these issues resolve as I've grown older ( natural weeding out process, I guess :) ) While I haven't personally experienced significant career advancements through friendships , having supportive allies and advocates, both male and female, has been crucial in making my workplace fun and lively.
I agree with Rashmi about the importance of allies and advocates. Do you have a Womens ERG or a support group that you can potentially bring this up with? They could also provide potential advice if its something that other people at your company may be experiencing. Elpha also is also another forum/place where people may be able to pitch in
I hear you! I second Rashmi and Grace on this. However, I feel one way you could gain allies/collaborators is by volunteering to help one of your team mates. If in a standup or a group meeting, you see someone has a blocker that you could help with or you feel there is a common topic of interest or you have a different insight from others, you can volunteer to help or suggest a solution. I find this not only gives you an opportunity to score on the team spirit but also gives visibility to your impact in the team.