What Is a Women’s Organization and What Are the Benefits?
A women's group is, quite literally, a group of women who meet regularly, usually in order to organize campaigns sometimes for a specific cause. Other times, women meet for workshops and conferences to build their skillsets and network with influential women.
"I'm constantly asked the question, 'Why do women need to exclude men from their networks?'" executive recruiter, Stacey Gordon told Forbes. "My answer is simple. We need is a place where we can nurture relationships in a way that feels comfortable, a venue where we make the rules, and a private space that empowers us... We are judged all the time and we'd like to occasionally be in a place where we are judged less. Or at least judged on criteria that pertain to our jobs rather than to our gender."
There are tons of perks for women who are part of women's organizations:
- Women can speak freely without gender discrimination
- Women can network and find other female mentors
- Women can meet female leaders who inspire them
- Women have a safe space to talk about issues pertaining to them in the workplace
- Women can hold positions of power without having to shatter a glass ceiling
Regardless of your industry, there's a women's group for you.
What Are Some Examples of Women’s Organizations NYC?
Women in Politics
The League of Women Voters of the City of New York, founded in 1919, is a non-partisan organization with the purpose of promoting informed and active citizen participation in government. The league is "committed to empowering citizens with the meaningful information needed to make sound decisions for our democracy." That's why the organization offers telephone information services to answer questions about city, state and national government. It also prints educational publications including What Makes New York City Run? and They Represent You, an annually updated directory of city, state and federal legislators who represent New York residents. Likewise, the league conducts candidate debates, and there are often speakers on the political process and public issues.
The NGO Committee on the Status of Women supports the work of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women and UN Women. It calls itself an "untiring advocate with Member States for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls across the globe." To get involved, you can donate or become a member. As a member, you can participate in monthly meetings and receive newsletters and alerts regarding UN events.
Women Impacting Public Policy is a national nonpartisan organization founded in 2001 that advocates for women entrepreneurs "strengthening their impact on our nation’s public policy, creating economic opportunities and forging alliances with other business organizations." Members get to go to a host of networking events and meetings, and they have access to online education tools and advocacy training programs. They're also eligible to speak, present or host webinars, testify on Capitol Hill and author blogs.
The National Organization for Women is the largest organization of feminist grassroots activists in the United States. The organization was founded in 1966 and today consists of 550 chapters in all 50 U.S. states and in Washington, D.C. It's dedicated to a multi-issue and multi-strategy approach to women’s rights. Like all of its chapters, the one in New York City holds events that "promote feminist ideals, lead societal change, eliminate discrimination, and achieve and protect the equal rights of all women and girls in all aspects of social, political, and economic life." Members receive early access invitations to NOW-NYC events and action alerts for the latest protests.
Women in Technology
Women in Technology International was founded in 1989 and, today, has evolved into the world's leading trade association for tech-savvy women. Today, the organization's mission is to "empower women worldwide to achieve unimagined possibilities and transformations through technology, leadership and economic prosperity." To achieve that, Women in Technology International leverages its market reach exceeding two million to offer and do the following, according to its website:
- Provide a platform of connections, resources and opportunities
- Transform corporate and media perceptions of women
- Create a pipeline of women to fill leadership positions in corporate America
- Demonstrate that advancing women directly contributes to the prosperity of all
- Influence top leaders in government, academia and industry to recognize the purchasing power of women
- Encourage girls and young women to choose business and technology careers
The organization's products and services span from networking and career services to national conferences, small business programs and more.
Women in Media
New York Women in Film & Television pushes for equality in the film and television industry and supports women in every stage of their careers in this field. The organization, which brings together nearly 2,500 women and men and is part of a network of women in film chapters worldwide representing more than 15,000 members "energizes women by illuminating their achievements, presenting training and professional development programs, awarding scholarships and grants, and providing access to a supportive community of peers." The organization produces over 50 programs and special events annually, including the Muse Awards for Vision and Achievement and Designing Women.
2. She Runs It
She Runs It is designed to encourage and promote women’s roles in the advertising industry by offering members extensive networking, mentoring programs, education loan relief, career development and more. When it first started, it began by holding classes and dinners with presentations on advertising best practices and giving scholarships to encourage women to pursue degrees in advertising. Since then, the community has grown beyond advertising alone to focus on all facets of marketing and media.
Women in Finance
The Financial Women’s Association is dedicated to developing future female leaders by enhancing women's finance careers. The organization brings together high-achieving professionals from every sector of the financial world and partners with prestigious institutions, government agencies and talented individuals to offer members opportunities and career services. According to the association's website, nearly 90 percent of members are employed either with an outside firm or are self-employed and 85 percent hold senior positions of power and influence within their companies.
The National Association of Women Business Owners, founded in 1975, is the only dues-based national organization representing the interests of all women entrepreneurs across all industries. And it connects more than 10 million women-owned businesses in the United States, helping them by sharing resources and providing a collective viewpoint that shapes economic and public policy. Members are offered networking events such as lunches and dinners, as well as access to mastermind groups and mentorship programs.
The National Association for Female Executives, based in New York City, is a division of the Working Mother Media that was established in 1972. Today, it's one of the country’s largest associations for women professionals and business owners, and it provides resources to them through education, networking and public advocacy.
1. The Wing
The Wing is a network of co-working and community spaces designed by and for women. That's because the organization believes that "the act of coming together in furtherance of The Wing’s mission creates new opportunities, ideas and conversations that will lead to greater mobility and prosperity for womankind." Therefore, membership to The Wing includes access to open-plan and private workspaces, as well as amenities designed with women’s needs in mind (read: lactation rooms, libraries, showers, etc.). Members also benefit from a unique calendar of events ranging from conversations with senators to birth chart readings.
OKREAL, which was founded in 2014, is a curation of aspirational women's wisdom shared via online content and offline activations. In short, OKREAL guides women in defining fulfillment for themselves — and figuring out how to achieve their personal version of fulfillment. There are tons of events, mixers and panels for women to attend in New York City.
New Women Space is a community-led event space located in Brooklyn. What differentiates this space, however, is that 100 percent of its programming is led by self-identified women, femme, queer, transgender and gender non-conforming individuals. Members are invited to New Women Space's supporter Facebook group, as well as quarterly town hall meetings and socials events.
Those who sign up for Ladies Get Paid will be invited to the group's private online network of thousands of women from around the world who share advice, resources and job opportunities. Those signed up will receive the group's weekly newsletter with upcoming events and workshops (many of which are in New York City), webinars, blog articles and more. Topics cover everything from How to Elevate Yourself in a Male-Dominated Workplace to How to Run a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a multimedia journalist and an adventure aficionado with a keen cultural curiosity and an affinity for solo travel. She's an editor by day and a travel blogger at HerReport.org by night.