If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, then they're also on different planets when it comes to business networking. As a CIO, you know you need to network as much as any other high-profile senior executive. But in the particularly male-dominated field of IT, it's easy to make missteps while mingling with the opposite sex, even when you have the best of intentions. The book, "Business Networking and Sex " (McGraw-Hill/Entrepreneur Press/Available in January 2012) explores this topic with a specific focus on gender-based interpretations. Supported by a survey in which 12,000 professionals participated, as well as interviews with select executives, lead author Ivan Misner reveals the many layers of complications that emerge as members of the opposite sex get together for events that are primarily defined as equal parts business and social functions. The book offers some frank talk about the ways men and women operate in business that is likely to leave some folks steaming mad. For example, one interview subject from the book admits: "Not to be sexist, but the hot businesswoman will always draw a larger crowd at networking functions because men assume that giving business to her will make her like him." (We just love when someone prefaces a blatantly sexist statement with the phrase "not to be sexist.") Misner is founder and chairman of BNI, a leading business networking organization. Here are selected highlights, including tips for men and women on how to avoid running afoul of sexist stereotypes while networking:
More than one-half of women and men surveyed say that the average person is uncomfortable networking with members of the opposite sex at least some of the time.
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