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Photo courtesy of Rachel Hannon, from WELL Summit 2018.
Photo courtesy of Rachel Hannon, from WELL Summit 2018.

8 Female Leaders Share How Networking Helped Them Build Their Careers

3 min read

Networking—to some, it feels like a near dirty word, something that conjures a salesperson-like persona and over-the-top attempts at connection. But networking is often the key to getting a job you want. Some estimates claim that nearly 80 percent of jobs are filled through networking. Others calculate that 70 percent of jobs aren’t even listed because candidates are sourced via networking.

Successful entrepreneurs know that networking isn’t just about getting your next job or building your career—it can be the lifeblood that builds your business, from the ground up. Whether it’s for business alliances, to increase sales, capitalize on marketing, enhance supply chain management or just to escape the loneliness of being a solopreneur, making connections is vital for business growth. That’s why we reached out to eight female leaders to share their networking experience. Here’s what they had to say.

Erika Murdock Balbuena, Head of Impact Computing, Amazon Web Services3

“I got my job at Twilio through networking. A few months prior, I had intentionally been reaching out to other community managers (the job I held at the time) in the tech space. One of them, Brittany Murlas, knew the hiring manager at Twilio and told me about a community manager job there. I knew nothing about developers, Twilio, or the job. Because of my networking and Brittany’s introduction I was able to meet the hiring manager for coffee and the rest is history. Best part is, the job was listed as a community manager but her team was also launching/building Twilio.org, aka social impact, which was my dream job. And from there I got to spend 4.5 incredible years building Twilio.org.”


Tiffany Yu, CEO & Founder, Diversability

“As an introvert, I don’t necessarily consider myself a ‘great’ networker, but I do believe in never burning bridges and continuing to build relationships. Throughout my career, I have made some career transitions (investment banker > recruiter > broadcast journalism > corporate finance > community management) and each has been thanks to someone in my network/a warm intro.”


Stephanie Thoma, IRL Connection Enthusiast, Stephanie Thoma Solutions (ft. Networking for Introverts Workshop)

“I grew up as an introvert and decided that I wanted to become more confident in social situations, so began attending networking events. I have attended 300+ since 2016, and am now the Director of PR for the Young Professionals of SF, and touring the workshop, ‘Networking for Introverts.’ Through repetition, I’ve desensitized myself from the social anxiety I used to feel attending events, have quality friends and the confidence to meet more of them anywhere I go.”


Shivani Honwad, Esq., The Law Firm of Shivani Honwad LLC

“I built my law firm solely on networking. I have barely implemented any of my marketing plan (aside from social media posts here and there, run often by my interns) and believe I’ve been able to build stronger relationships with my clients by being primarily network/referral based.”


Abbey Donnell, Founder & President, Work & Mother

“I’ve gotten introductions to influential people who ended up being key in getting my business launched.”


Kari Clark, Founder, Uplift

“My entire business is based on the power of my network.”



Laura Wyant, Digital Media and Strategy Consultant, The Rise Journey

“NYC is smaller than it seems. Working in media and PR, I have been introduced to so many people who have later become colleagues or references. There have been various projects and clients I have taken on due to other people’s recommendations.”


Shabrina Koeswologito, Founder, Slow Travel Story

“I’ve gotten the chance to collaborate and interviewed power women in my space which is the travel and hospitality industry. And self-published my Bali guidebook on Amazon.”


Interested in how other female founders are making entrepreneurship happen? Follow our #BalancedHustler series, or join us in Boston on June 22, 2019, for our Balanced Hustle Summit to expand your network and learn from founders who’ve built multi-million dollar businesses.

About The Author

Gianne Doherty

Gianne Doherty

Gianne Doherty is an inspirational and educational speaker, clean beauty advocate, co-founder of Organic Bath Co. and founder of WELL Summit. You can find her on Instagram @wellsummit and @giannedoherty. Her weekly series, Balanced Hustler, on WELL Insiders is a deep dive into entrepreneurship.

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