Perez to share tips on strategic networking

As a woman in business, Marta Perez knows the importance of networking. But she finds too often that women fail to capitalize on their professional opportunities.

“Women shy away from developing the skill of business networking because they consider it too opportunistic and have limited knowledge about how to effectively develop it,” Perez said, adding that some may perceive that networking comes more naturally for men.

At 1 p.m. today in the Women’s Clubhouse, Perez hopes to change this perception. She will discuss strategic networking for women as part of the Chautauqua Women’s Club Professional Women’s Network speaker series.

Perez is a lawyer in Madrid for Layomba Legal & Accounting Advisory, a firm that consults foreign companies looking to expand their businesses in Spain. She advises on corporate, civil, commercial, information technology and copyright law, as well as on tax and employment issues.

Perez’s accomplishments in law are accompanied by a passion for helping women in their careers. She is the founder of Women In Business, a diversity consulting firm that seeks to ensure employment diversity and professional opportunities for females. Perez’s experience with this company is part of what she will discuss today.

“We help women to develop their careers … and design diversity programs for companies, women advancement programs and forums,” Perez said, adding that the company aims to create opportunities for women that she didn’t have when she was beginning her career.

Some valuable skills Perez will share today include how to say “no,” how to ask for more resources and how to communicate effectively with coworkers. Perez said that despite the challenges women face in the workplace, they can advance through networking if they are able to “build and nurture personal links.”

She said that although balancing home and work time is important in any woman’s life, being visible at informal work gatherings is a great way to advance professionally. Perez will also share her “do’s and don’ts” of networking, and audience members will be able to practice her tips at today’s event.

This marks Perez’s second time speaking with the Women’s Club and her fourth season coming to Chautauqua Institution.