The existence of informal male networks, sometimes referred to as "old boys' networks", tends to exclude women from top jobs. More and more women have come to realize that they need professional contacts for a successful career and that they also needed each other’s support. Therfore many women are joining women-only networks or trying to create there own informal networks. The purpose is to establish useful contacts, learn new things, and be able to share their concerns with other women in the same situation. For some it gives an opportunity to find a mentor who can guide them.
The aim of this bachelor thesis is to study if women’s lacking access to male networks is an obstacle for career advancement and to give an insight into women-only networks and their effectiveness to support women leaders and managers and increase women's representation in senior positions. The empirical findigs were conducted in Växjö, Sweden; in the networks “Fröken” and “Rotary”, and one women-only network in Linz, Austria; the BPW, “Business & Professional Women”.