Weekend Poll Results: Demographics of Your Professional Networks

With thanks to all who are participating, here are the results of my latest weekend poll. Our focus:

Generations and Genders: Inside Your Professional Associations and Networks

Exec Office Meeting

Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers are all represented: Remembering that readers’ estimates span different cities and even continents, have a glance at the data below. How do the generational clusters within your networks and professional associations compare?

Does any single generation influence or impact your association’s decision making more than another? 71% of respondents said yes. So, which generation wields the most influence? Interestingly, there was an even split (36.36% each) between respondents who identified Boomers and Gen Xers as having the greatest influence or impact.  18.18% of you reported that it’s the Millennials in your networks who have the greatest influence.

Leadership of professional associations, networks is predominantly female: A full 72% of respondents estimated that 91% or more of their associations’ leaders are women.

The vast majority of you feel welcome in your networks That’s what 92% of respondents said. What are networks doing well to create welcoming environments? It starts with the leaders, who reach out to new members and regularly check in with members generally. These networks have buddy systems, and make a practice of welcoming new members. They offer mentoring, social gatherings and relevant conferences and training. Conversely, one person who does not feel welcome in her/his network recommends opening up the lines of communications.

Praise for associations and networks that do a great job of fostering inclusion and participation:  Readers are generous with their shout outs for the networks that are doing a great job; you’ll see a list of these groups in the Data section, below.

THE DATA

Networking, Helping Others Copyright Shelagh DonnellyResults reflect the percentage of readers’ responses to specific questions/ratings

I asked you to estimate the percentage of your network/association’s membership that are Millennials/Gen Y. 

  • 7% of you estimate that 1 – 5% of members in your respective networks are Millennials
  • 13% of you estimate that 6 – 10% of members are Millennials
  • 27% of you estimate that 11 – 20% of members are Millennials
  • 7% of you estimate that 21 – 30% of members are Millennials
  • 13% of you estimate that 31 – 40% of members are Millennials
  • 13% of you estimate that 41 – 50% of members are Millennials
  • 7% of you estimate that 51 – 60% of members are Millennials
  • 7% of you estimate that 61 – 70% of members are Millennials
  • 7% of you estimate that 71 – 80% of members are Millennials

Next, I asked you to estimate percentage of your network/association’s membership who are from Gen X. 

  • 13% of you estimate that 6 – 10% of members in your respective networks are Gen X
  • 7% of you estimate that 11 – 20% of members are Gen X
  • 20% of you estimate that 21 – 30% of members are Gen X
  • 13% of you estimate that 31 – 40% of members are Gen X
  • 20% of you estimate that 41 – 50% of members are Gen X
  • 27% of you estimate that 51 – 60% of members are Gen X

Then we took a stab at estimating the  percentage of your network/association’s membership who are Baby Boomers.

  • 29% of you estimate that 1 – 5% of members are Baby Boomers
  • 14% of you estimate that 6 – 10% of members are Baby Boomers
  • 14% of you estimate that 11 – 20% of members are Baby Boomers
  • 7% of you estimate that 21 – 30% of members are Baby Boomers
  • 7% of you estimate that 31 – 40% of members are Baby Boomers
  • 22% of you estimate that 51 – 60% of members are Baby Boomers
  • 7% of you estimate that 81 – 90% of members are Baby Boomers

I asked if you think that any single generation within your network influences decision making more than others.

  • 71% of you say Yes
  • 29% of you say No

For those who answered yes to the previous question, I asked just which generational group most impacts or influences your network’s decisions.

  • 36.36% of you say it’s Baby Boomers who have the most impact or influence on decisions
  • 36.36% of you say it’s Gen Xers who have the most impact or influence on decisions
  • 18.18% of you say it’s Millennials who have the most impact or influence on decisions
  • 9.09% of respondents selected “Other”; it would appear these people don’t believe any one generational group has a dominant influence or impact on networks’ decision making.

Networking Copyright Shelagh Donnelly

What percentage of your network’s leadership do you estimate is female?

  • 43% of respondents estimate that 91 – 99% of their networks’ leadership is female
  • 29% estimate that 100% of their networks’ leadership is female
  • 14% estimate that 82 – 90% of their networks’ leadership is female
  • 7% estimate that 11 – 20% of their networks’ leadership is female
  • 7% estimate that 21 – 30% of their networks’ leadership is female

 

Do you feel welcome in your professional network/association?

  • 92% of you say Yes
  • 8% of you say No

 

I asked those who do feel welcomed in their networks just what their networks do particularly well to make members feel welcome. Here’s what you said. Some themes were repeated.

  • Leaders reach out to new members / Leaders regularly check in with you / Leaders reach out to newcomers and facilitate introductions
  • Buddy system / Makes sure they have a buddy to welcome them until they get familiar
  • Welcome aboard committee / Welcome new members
  • Intro to new members
  • Friendly / The whole group is really friendly
  • Mentoring
  • Social gatherings
  • Relevant conference themes and training
  • Conferences include special opening sessions for new members
  • They are open to new faces

 

Iw asked those who didn’t feel welcomed in their network to suggest what the network could do  to make members feel welcome.

  • Actually talk to its members! Wouldn’t feel comfortable going on my own

 

What steps can professional networks/associations in general do to ensure that all administrative professionals feel welcomed and encouraged to actively participate? Where responses overlapped, I’ve captured themes rather than providing every response verbatim.

  • Be open to disruption/change; they can be positive
  • Check in with their membership regularly
  • Give opportunities for them to learn from each other
  • Buddy members up
  • Mix of development and social events
  • Say hi at least!
  • Introduce people. make sure people are talking to different people
  • Introduce installment payments for conferences
  • Be conscious of demographic-specific (age, gender, etc.) images and messaging

 

Lastly, I invited you to list any of your associations/networks that does a great job of fostering inclusion and participation. Here’s a list, in alphabetical order; a number of these associations received repeat mentions.

  • AGB – Association of Governing Boards
  • Bristol PAs
  • CityCo Pa Network
  • EPAA – Executive and Personal Assistants Association
  • ExecSecLIVE
  • Exeter PA Network
  • GPA
  • GPOP – Governance and President’s Office Professionals
  • IAAP – International Association of Administrative Professionals
  • IMA – International Management Assistants (formerly EUMA)
  • Manchester PA Network
  • NAPAHE – National Association of Presidential Assistants in Higher Education
  • Office Ninjas
  • Peterborough PAs
  • Scottish PA Network
  • South Hampshire PA Network
  • The PA Hub
  • The PA Network

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: