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Don't Stop the Madness!

Susan's picture

It’s March and you know what that means in corporate America? Yes, it’s time for the annual NCAA tournament office pool. Whether you actually care about men’s college basketball or not, now is the time to bond with your co-workers over the frenzy known as March Madness.

For about a $5 entry fee, you can and should participate in your office’s NCAA pool. There’s little skill required. The beauty of the NCAA tournament is that it’s always full of unexpected upsets, so the novice has almost as much chance of picking the winners in each bracket as the guy in Accounting who’s been tracking the team statistics all season long.

For many working women, March Madness stirs up bitter feelings about how sports dominate the work environment. The office pool is just one more reminder of how men use sports as a way of excluding women from the old boy’s network. It’s true, some men do use sports that way. However, not all men are looking to exclude women. Many men are actually looking to include women in their professional network, but don’t know how to begin. Sports offer a comfortable way for men to begin making connections with their female colleagues.

If you’ve missed out on the March Madness hype so far, it’s not too late to join in. I guarantee you the topic will remain hot through April 7th (the day after the championship game). For those of you who are unfamiliar with the topic, here’s a crash course in all you need to know:

• The tournament started with 64 teams and they’re down to the final four teams known not so creatively as “The Final Four.”
• Both of the semi-final games will be played on April 4th in Detroit, Michigan.
• Michigan State plays Connecticut and Villanova plays North Carolina.
• The two winning teams will then play one final game for the championship on Monday night, April 6th.

Of course I recognize that many working women enjoy sports just as much or more than their male colleagues. But for those of you who do not, I’m recommending that you embrace March Madnesss as a golden opportunity to network with your colleagues. I’m not suggesting that you become a phony sports enthusiast, but try to get into the spirit of the tournament as a way of building your professional network. We all know how valuable social networks can be to your professional success. So, don’t stop the madness. Welcome it for all that it can offer.