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May 04, 2023

Women in IR: Network your way up the career ladder

‘You have to build all the bridges’

Taking a leap and not being hesitant to move into a C-suite role from IR or vice versa can help with career progression, according to speakers at the latest IR Magazine Forum – Women in IR.

At the event held in New York on April 27, IR experts were encouraged to raise their hands to take full advantage of opportunities that may be presented to them in a multitude of ways.

Keeping good relationships with recruiters is also essential, said an IR professional at the event. ‘Especially in IR, even if you’re not looking to change jobs. I think sometimes that’s a really good relationship to have,’ she said.

Women in IR: Network your way up the career ladder

‘I’ve had really valuable conversations with recruiters through my career where I either pursued a role they were talking about, or they gave me very frank feedback about the kinds of things I would need to put on my resumé or really build as a skill to be able to move in the direction I wanted to.’

For some people who may not want to rise within a company organically, one way to get ahead is to hone in on essential skills, a delegate remarked.

‘One way to get into the roles sometimes is to not rise through the organization but to get your skills to where they need to be,’ she added.

Internal and external networking

How individuals approach networking can be split into internal and external, explained a speaker, with some perception studies suggesting that women tend to focus more on external networking rather than internal.

‘You have to build all the bridges’

‘Internal networking is just part of your job,’ said an IRO. ‘In terms of building those relationships, part of that is IR. I always say you have to build all the bridges, because you need to be able to tap all the parts of the organization to learn what you need to know for the earnings calls, for the story and for the way you tell the story.

‘Networking has been absolutely critical for me. I think you have to make time for it. You have to think about how you work best with networking. Some people don’t work well with going to events and meeting strangers; other people love that part of networking, I think it’s kind of leaning into the part that works for you.’

Instagram for professionals

Social media is becoming more important for IR professionals to network and engage with investors, a speaker said.

LinkedIn is a good place to start – it’s like Instagram for professionals, she explained. ‘I think it’s a powerful tool, because you can actually reach out to so many different types of people you probably would never exactly reach out to in person,’ she said.

IR Magazine Forum - Women in IR

Since the backdrop of Covid, more companies are taking their social media strategy more seriously while in-person meetings begin to rehash, said a delegate.

‘From my perspective, I would say we are definitely using social media more,’ she said. ‘We’re trying to make sure members of our C-suite are using social media effectively and often, with a lot of direction behind the scenes, but in a way that helps them keep to the company’s brand.’

Women in IR: Network your way up the career ladder