Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Match Made in Heaven: Networking at the Astra Matchmaker in Seattle

Credit: Pamela Kan
IN THE ZONE Did you know that first impressions take six times to change and that they burn deep in a person's memory? That means if you mess up an introduction, you have to make up for it the next five times — assuming you get that many chances.

"Focusing on what people remember of you is far more important than trying to impress them with what you know," according to life and communications coach Fran Zone. "Your future depends not on what you  know, but how you capture people's imagination."

[ Read more about Fran  Zone and her communications strategy here on her website ]

Wow. That puts a lot of weight on your next nice-to-meet-you exchange! That was the topic of one of the presentations at today's Astra Matchmaker & Expo event in Seattle, WA, where BWC President Pamela Kan and our Senior Project Engineer Ariel Oriel spent the day networking with corporations and other certified woman-owned businesses. Zone opened the day's events with a talk about how to make the most out of the types of exchanges common at an event like the Astra Matchmaker — those quick introductions with peers, potential customers and sought-after corporate supplier scouts.

Credit: Pamela Kan
MATCHING UP We got off the phone with Ariel this afternoon to ask how the day's events are going and he said it's been great seeing how interested attendees are in a woman-owned manufacturer of guided motion components. Our field of manufacturing has captured a lot of interest there, Ariel said, because our ability to make linear slides, rotary guides and other motion control systems and parts is rare in the woman-owned B2B space.

[ Click here for more info about our woman-owned certification ]

Although there are several manufacturers in the nation run by women, it's still a definite minority, according to the Women's Business Enterprise National Council, the organization that certified our woman-ownership and works side by side by Astra to help companies like ours network with diversity suppliers at various corporations.

REPRESENTING THE FIELD Bishop-Wisecarver being woman-owned definitely makes it a rarity, one we're proud to talk about. Female leaders in the field will hopefully encourage more women to enter the manufacturing sector, which is seeing an uptick in the number of female workers, according to CNN:
According to the National Association of Manufacturers, about a third of all manufacturing workers today are women ... [as] manufacturing is rapidly being transformed from a labor-intensive field to a high-tech one. The change, and a nascent pick up in domestic manufacturing, has created thousands of factory jobs nationwide that, experts say, more women are starting to seek out.
Interesting! It's always encouraging to network with other women business owners, and to read about how more women are entering historically male-dominated fields like our own!