Editor's note: This column has been updated to provide attribution to original sources.

This week, The Washington Post reported that Mike Pence does not have dinner with any women who aren't his wife. Journalist Ashley Parker reported that Pence further told The Hill that he also doesn't attend events where alcohol is served without his wife: "In 2002, Mike Pence told The Hill that he never eats alone with a woman other than his wife and that he won't attend events featuring alcohol without her by his side, either." The Pence rule (which is actually "the Billy Graham rule") is not uncommon among evangelical Christians, a group that makes up a solid quarter of Americans.

Some people agreed with his decision, suggesting that it was prudent not to be a high-profile politician who could be photographed with another woman and have it misrepresented in the press. Others suggested that avoiding temptation was "respectful" to his wife.

It might not be Pence's decision to avoid one-on-one dinners with women -- it might be his wife's decision. Brian Howey, publisher of Howey Politics Indiana, told the Post that Karen Pence was the silent, omnipresent partner: "You knew she was there, you knew there was some considerable influence she wielded." When Pence was governor of Indiana, he had a phone in his office that only wife Karen had the number for.

The New Yorker argues that Pence's beliefs on marriage keep women from power. Other critics say that his policy hurts women since women are denied networking opportunities if men refuse to dine with them. "The revolting thing about Pence's no-meals-with-women rule isn't prudishness. It's that he's limiting key professional opportunities to men," tweeted Ian Millhiser, an editor at ThinkProgress.

Mother Jones Editor in Chief Clara Jeffery said in a Twitter thread, "If Pence won't eat dinner alone with any woman but his wife, that means he won't hire women in key spots." (I'm not sure how many women have had private dinners with men who eventually become their employers -- I haven't.)

"Those with larger networks earn more money and get promoted faster," wrote Kim Elsesser, a research scholar at the UCLA Center for the Study of Women, in the Los Angeles Times. "Because men typically dominate senior management, there's evidence that the most valuable network members may be men. Without access to beneficial friendships and mentor relationships with executive men, women won't be able to close the gender gap that exists in most professions."

If you are a woman who isn't able to network over dinner or at events where alcohol is served, what are some other options?

• Meet during business hours. Schedule breakfast meetings or lunch meetings, or meet during the day for a 15 or 30 minute chat that isn't over a social meal.

• Invite other colleagues to dinner or a networking event (an "off-site" in Silicon Valley parlance) where alcohol will be served.

• Connect with people online.

"I integrate Twitter and LinkedIn into my day," said Melissa Daimler, head of global learning and organizational development at Twitter, to Upward. "It's pretty intentional: I follow people I want to learn from and they follow me and we have a conversation."

"Networking is something women should be doing anywhere and everywhere and all day long, from the dog park to the line at Starbucks," said Nicole Williams, Connection Director of LinkedIn, to CareerBliss. " Get on LinkedIn and join industry groups and start a discussion and keep that conversation going. You never know what type of business relationships can stem from these types of exchanges."