The Network Gap

07th Aug 2023

There is data to show an inequality in networking, showing women are less likely to build connections, and a weaker network means less access to opportunities. 

The North East STEM Hub, delivered by RTC has a women’s networking group. Claire Willis, Team Leader for the STEM Hub set up the North East Women in STEM (NEWS) group in the midst of the pandemic, originally online, to create a network of women working in STEM to support each other through collaborative working and connecting.  

Having recently discovered, when trying to select an image for promotion, a lack of images portraying only women networking. Statistics show men and women both prefer networking with organisational members of the same gender. This preference has stronger consequences for women: since men are more likely than women to be in higher positions, it means that women are less likely to attend networking events and build connections, disproportionately holding women back. 

There are many positives to networking which is why the NEWS group was set up. Networking can result in fantastic career opportunities such as a new role or can get you career advice and support. Additionally, the more you expose yourself to new people and new ideas, the more you will learn about the company, the industry, and yourself. Building new business connections allows you to develop fresh ideas, access new information and can gain you a different perspective all whilst having the opportunity to develop long-lasting personal relationships. 

To combat this underrepresentation, at the latest NEWS event held at Beamish Village, a photographer was invited to attend and capture women networking to help promote the group and spread the word. 

The original target for this group was 50, the membership of NEWS continues to grow and there are now 197 women in this group. To find out more about the next NEWS event, please visit >> North East STEM Hub :: North East Women In Stem (news) Network Meeting 

 See below a gallery of images from Sarah Deane, the photographer who captured some great shots of some of our NEWS members. 

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