As women, we do not advocate for ourselves as often as we should. However, when you work with people who have similar experiences, perspective and objectives it motivates you. With enough people cheering you on and offering you guidance, you are definitely likely to succeed. Such organizations inspire us to advocate for ourselves and support each other in that process.

There are many benefits to being in a women’s networking group. It can be a great way of building connections within your chosen field, help you gain confidence and encourage others to participate, collaborate and innovate.

It need not be too large in scale to begin with. You can start off with 10 or less members, discussing topics that concern you – handling family, progressing at work, etc. In addition to encouraging discussion and spreading awareness such initiatives can serve in developing effective skills.

The world is increasingly becoming aware of the importance of developing well rounded women leadership and close the gender gap in positions of influence. A key tool for this is networking and organization of women. The goal of such programs should be to give women the tools and resources they need while also boosting leadership skills.

Several professional organizations now conduct mentoring programs offering participants a chance to work with and build long-term relationships with mentors and help them devise goals for professional development. With support from mentors, women employees can join group members to discuss current challenges and brainstorm solutions on topics ranging from professional growth to work-life balance issues.

If you are interested in starting a networking or social program for women in your community, workplace or among friends and relations, these are the steps you need to follow:

  • Identify and form an association of like minded individuals or those with similar interests.

  • Identify and decide your common desired goals and communicate it well within the group.

  • Look to examples of other similar groups and use it to outline what your group can do, how participants can contribute meaningfully, how to balance any initiative with their individual and personal schedules, plan budgetary requirements and initiatives.

  • In choosing people to lead the group or head its initiatives, it’d be good to appoint someone with experience who can bring the needed discipline, organization and direction your group will need.

  • Ensure that the group constantly reviews their plan and goals.

  • The groups can also hold social events to raise awareness for local women’s non-profit and charity organizations.

Share the progress and instances of success within the group and encourage members to spread the word. By popularizing and promoting such initiatives you will be contributing to raising awareness and encouraging others to participate.