Women Entrepreneurs Set the Pace in Network Marketing. Five Practices Women Model that Can Benefit Any Organization That Wants to Thrive. by Dr. John W. Hackett

“You are a woman. You can do anything in this world you want to”
Mary Kay Ash, Founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics

American Business expert Robert T Kiyosaki reports that network marketing is the fastest growing business model globally. Business blogger Matina Worre wrote in a 2018 blog, Who Runs The World? Women Entrepreneurs noted that network marketing represents 180 Billion dollars in worldwide sales yearly and involves 100 million entrepreneurs. This fast-growing segment of the world economy is marked by one especially significant difference from other world economy sectors. That significant difference is that women are the driving force in the growth of network marketing. Traditional Business models are disproportionally represented by male leadership. These biases exist despite numerous studies that women possess more effective leadership skills than men. In a 2019 Harvard Business Review article, Women Score Higher Than Men in Most Leadership Skills, Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman provide data from two studies that substantiate that women leaders are rated higher than men. That data has also been corroborated by the Kornferry /Rockefeller institute study Women CEOs Speak. Women still lag behind men in leadership and salary in traditional businesses.

In-Network Marketing conversely, women entrepreneurs are the driving force in the growth of this business model. Women are the lifeblood of the Network marketing sector of the economy. 75% of entrepreneurs in network marketing are women. According to a very reliable source, my
wife, a 42 year Mary Kay Senior Sales Director Becki Hackett, women are attracted to network marketing for several reasons. Women choose network marketing opportunities for freedom, the flexibility of hours and expectations, unlimited advancement possibilities, training and collaboration, and the support of a team of like-minded entrepreneurs. The late Stephen Covey, the author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, noted that network marketing was an inspiring business model because everyone starts on a level playing field. In network marketing, everybody does start at the same place, usually a starter kit. Mary Kay Ash used to say that everyone starts with the same Beauty starter kit, and with their hard work with the kit is the magic. Many women are attracted to the
flexibility to work your own hours and make the income you choose to work for and advance as you choose. In the United States, 82% of the women who made more than $100,000 were in network marketing/direct sales companies.

Shama Hyder, founder, and CEO of Zen Media, writing in a 2017 article for INC.magazine, Why Women are looking to Direct Sales for Their Entrepreneurial Dreams. that women also choose network marketing and direct sales for more than money. They want to add value to their families, fellow team members, and their Communities

Women have been enormously successful in network marketing entrepreneurs because of their specific skills and behaviors they bring to the field. The practices modeled by successful women in network marketing can provide an insightful guide for leading all organizations to be more successful. The women who are successful in network marketing model five specific practices that traditional businesses led by men, for the most part, would be well served to follow

1. Responsibility and Commitment
Successful network marketers understand that being successful as an entrepreneur is a responsibility, not an entitlement. The successful network marketer knows that her success is her responsibility and essential to growth.

2. Connections and Relationships
The successful women in network marketing build relationships first. She understands that network comes before marketing. This commitment to building relationships leads to exceptional customer service developing long-term customers. She also provides the same value to her team, developing support and camaraderie, which builds strong teams.

3. Empathy in leadership
A successful woman in network marketing has learned to accept and work with people who work at all different levels of a team . she can be empathic with her team as she is with her children and demonstrate tough love to support those she serves leads.

4. Collaboration for mutual success.
The successful Women in Network Marketing understands that being on a team is different than collaborating. She knows collaboration is wanting everyone to benefit. This practice allows successful women entrepreneurs to focus on growing others and mutual sharing ideas to benefit everyone. This mutual benefit skill by choosing to collaborate in teams has been shown in studies to be a unique skill for women. MIT Sloan business school professor Thomas Malone studied high-performing teams and found the primary factor in high-performing teams was not diversity. It had more women. Sloan noted in a 2019
New York Times article Why Some Teams Are Smarter Than Others,” having more women on teams raised the team’s collective intelligence. He noted that women displayed more social perception. This means that leaders must be led by leaders who understand how to be aware of themselves and work with others to be successful. These are emotional intelligence skills prominently seen in women, although men can learn them.

6. Communication
Women who are leaders in network marketing tend to place a high value on communication. They value listening, questioning, and connecting in communication. They also tend to understand how to message information with clarity to ensure understanding. They also value clarity of direction and flexibility to reach a goal more important than definite. They understand that communication means listening and learning, not having correct answers.

6. Persistence and agility
The successful woman in a network marketing team appreciates life’s challenges and persistently seeks to help and support those they lead moving forward. This person also is open to different ways to work to adapt to challenges. This leader has adapted to Beauty shows or other demonstrations by Zoom during this time. They reach out to others and are present and helping despite challenging circumstances.

Network marketing has become the fast-growing sector of the world economy because of what women naturally bring to the business model. In this time of intense change and complexity, the network marketing sector has shown flexibility and agility. This is primarily due to the women who have shown how to lead themselves and their teams. Traditional organizations, and especially businesses, will probably look much different in a post-COVID economy. Leadership will be essential to creating a “new better normal” The skills modeled by these successful women in network marketing are really what traditional business and other organizations could learn from. The success demonstrated by the women in network marketing will hopefully help women make more progress in other organizations and be a model of leadership for men.

John Hackett
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