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Women's networking groups

We round up some of the networking groups run for women, including advocacy groups, consulting and advice services, and groups in the charity sector.

Below is a selection of networking groups for women, run by a range of organisations.

  • The Women Lawyers Division (Bristol) is dedicated to meeting the needs of women lawyers in and around Bristol. It holds interesting and fun events and provides good networking opportunities with solicitors, barristers and other professionals within the legal sector.
  • The Surrey AWS organises events to allow like-minded female solicitors to network and socialise to build upon their professional profiles. For details, contact AB@wheelerslaw.co.uk.
  • AWS London is a vibrant, welcoming and inclusive community for women lawyers. Membership is for solicitors as well as students, paralegals and trainees intending to become solicitors. Associate membership includes other women working in the law, legal executives, barristers, judges and lawyers qualified in other jurisdictions.AWSL promotes and supports women’s interests in the legal profession. It enables professional development through educational events, networking, social and mentoring opportunities and provides a forum for members’ achievements on its website and its newsletter. A key theme is promoting a community of lawyers who are relaxed and open so that we can support each other in our careers.AWSL has been established for many years and is well-recognised by all the major government and regulatory bodies. We liaise with the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority, the Judicial Appointments’ Commission, The Law Society and so on. We provide a completely independent voice.  Your membership includes  priority booking for popular events,  reduced rates to our educational seminars,  being able to assist with the work of the committee,  being able to contribute to our newsletter and free maternity legal advice line.  To join as a member or to receive their newsletter, sign up on their website. Find out more about AWS London (pdf).
  • The Merseyside WLD offers a variety of events throughout the year to give you an opportunity to socialise and network with other women in the legal profession.

Advocacy

  • The Fawcett Society is the UK’s leading organisation campaigning for equality between women and men. Its vision is of a society in which women and men are equal partners in the home, at work and in public life. Fawcett is a membership organisation offering supporters the opportunity to take practical action to make a difference to women’s lives.
  • Opportunity Now works with employers to realise the potential and business benefits that women at every level contribute to the workforce. It now has 360 participating employer members, drawn from a wide range of organisations in the public, private and education sectors.
  • Founded in 1895, the National Council of Women aims to provide a forum for women workers. Its agenda includes social inclusion, quality of life, sustainable development, preventing trafficking in women, consumer rights, employment, equality, pensions, women’s health issues, violence against women and children and the welfare of the family.
  • An Inspirational Journey seeks to increase the participation of women at the top of the corporate hierarchy.
  • The Job Share Project is a group of business leaders and talent practitioners with an interest in in exploring the feasibility of job sharing as a commercially viable solution to enable part-time working in business-critical roles in global fast paced organisations.
  • The 30 Per Cent Club works to bring about a real transformation in the workplace by motivating and supporting chairmen to appoint more women to their boards. It provides information and support for businesses trying to improve their diversity and for women seeking board appointments, working with related groups and raising the profile of the issue by stimulating and influencing the political agenda.

Networking

  • Capability Jane runs the largest network of mid to senior female returning professionals in London and South East of England.
  • The National Women’s Register is a countrywide network of informal groups that meet in each other’s homes and exchange ideas, enjoy challenging discussions and run events like conferences and workshops.
  • City Women’s Network is a network for senior executive women in and around London. Members are professional women and business owners. Frequent meetings and workshops are held.
  • Women in Law London (WILL) is a network for associate-level women working in-house and in private practice in London.
  • Women Returners Professional Network provides with a range of free advice and support, information on opportunities for returners, and return-to-work success stories for inspiration. There is also the option of individual coaching support.

Advice

  • Boardroom Mum is a free online resource for mothers who are developing their careers. The site has an array of easy-to-reference content in one place which is added to every day.
  • Prowess is an online resource providing information for women in business. The website has links to regional women-friendly business support providers across the UK, and inspirational stories of ordinary women who have started their own businesses.
  • Obelisk Legal Support provides high quality support for in-house legal teams and law firms. Their mission is to get top ex-city lawyer parents working around their family commitments based on the time they can spare.
  • Everywoman.co.uk provides products and services to assist women to start and run their businesses. The website is a comprehensive online resource giving female business owners access to free information and advice.
  • Rights of Women works to attain justice and equality by empowering women, and informing and educating them on their legal rights. Their advice line gives free legal help for and by women, and provides downloadable information sheets and training for organisations on women’s rights.

Consulting

  • Swiftwork specialises in flexible working and work-life balance, helping organizations to capitalise on new ways to work in the 21st century. Swiftwork provides a free membership forum for work returners, homeworkers and all people who are working, or want to work, flexibly.
  • Parenting for Professionals offers employers maternity coaching programmes and coaching and support for parents at work. It supports companies to attract and retain women, and helps parents gain a happy and productive work-life balance.

Charity

  • Smart Works is an international charity based in London, which provides interview-appropriate clothing to low-income women making tailored transitions into the workforce. Clients must be referred through member organisations: details are available from Dress for Success.
  • Womankind Worldwide is an international women’s human rights charity working to help women transform their lives in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

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