New business programme improves women’s networking skills

Utilising networks has a significant impact on effectively managing organisational challenges. Women in business can become adept at managing networking in the new The Strength of Networking: Enhancing your Career programme at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM). The one-day programme will start on Tuesday 4 October in Rotterdam.

Women in business will learn how to effectively manage organisational challenges such as ‘glass ceilings’ to achieve their business goals in The Strength of Networking: Enhancing your Career. They will be challenged to rethink what it means to be authentically connected in the business world.


Network management


The programme is led by Dr Karen Stephenson, a lecturer at Yale University and at RSM. She is a pioneer in the field of social networks, and an expert on network theory and network management. In the programme, Dr Stephenson will reveal how a manager’s decision-making is affected by complex human networks.

“It’s not only people you must manage at work or in your community affairs, it’s the way these people are connected through invisible links of trust and familiarity that form the network structures you should really be managing,” says Dr Stephenson.

Not a jigsaw puzzle

“That’s why the truth about networks is so compelling … the future of your career lay in not knowing more people or people in higher positions, but managing certain people in certain network positions better. But you have to see the network structure first to be able to do this.”

Dr Stephenson will teach how women can advance their career more effectively and strategically by understanding how networks behave. “Networks are not just a jigsaw puzzle put together by the random connections of people; networks are organisational structures bound by scientific principles. Once you understand those principles, you can manage your network to improve your odds at advancing your career or being a more effective leader,” she says.

Achieving career goals

During the programme, female business professionals will:

  • learn about the constant and sometimes invisible influence of networks on decision-making
  • manage their networks to achieve professional career goals
  • recognise and effectively manage organisational challenges such as ‘glass ceilings’ in order to achieve business goals
  • change their daily management routine to incorporate the principles of networking.

Women from private, public and non-profit organisations who already have responsibilities to manage and lead, or those who aim to gain leadership responsibilities and more senior roles in the near future, will benefit from the programme.

Erasmus Centre for Women in Organisations

Women in business can prepare themselves for their next career step by acquiring new knowledge, taking ownership, developing and understanding their network and gaining confidence in ‘being present’. RSM’s Women in Business programmes are offered by RSM’s Erasmus Centre for Women in Organisations, which serves as a hub for debate, education, research and action on gender-related issues in business. Through its programmes, women learn how to break through the glass ceiling and improve their leadership impact, communication and presentation skills, and negotiation techniques. They will discover how to manage themselves, manage relationships, and manage networks.

The Strength of Networking: Enhancing your Career will take place on RSM’s campus in Rotterdam on Tuesday 4 October. You can register here.

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s leading research-based business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who carry their innovative mindset into a sustainable future thanks to a first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes. Study information and activities for future students, executives and alumni are also organised from the RSM office in Chengdu, China.

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Marianne Schouten, Media & Public Relations Manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at

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