Networking has always been a key skill to advance your career but today, thriving women’s networks offer so much more than just new connections. After running hundreds of Lifeworking groups and meeting thousands of women, I’m convinced that women who actually go after their dreams and reach their goals are those who surround themselves with the right crowd. And don’t just take my word for it, there’s enough evidence that surrounding yourself with the right people is the fastest way to success.
Women’s networks are not just about inspiration and learning from each other, a good tribe of like-minded people will boost your mood, help you believe in your dream and give fresh perspective to the decisions and challenges ahead. It is the collective energy of many that often defines whether you are going to give up on your project or carry on and persevere. If you surround yourself with ‘nay sayers’ (and believe what they say), the negativity is likely to wear you down sooner than you think.
Surround yourself with people who cheer you on and you’ll have much higher chance of success.
Naturally, we all have a different definition of success, and I hope you do too. There’s no point chasing someone else’s dream! So it’s important to make an informed and independent decision on what kind of network is right for you. Moreover, you should consider carefully why you want to join a women’s network and what you want to get out of it – Do you want to expand your network? Gain more business knowledge? Or build up your success mindset?
“The fastest way to do the things you don’t think can be done is to hang around people already doing them.” Scott Dinsmore
We’ve done extensive research on women’s networks in the UK and globally, and selected the 20 best women’s networks to help you achieve your goals. As you may already know, we love meeting people but most of all, we love making things happen. The list is not in any particular order.
The criteria for our list has been:
- Professionally run, high quality networks
- Size doesn’t matter (well, eh, it does, but not on this list)
- We selected networks for contemporary women who want to live a bigger life, achieve their goals and to flourish
- Active networks who are connected and make shit happen
- Our list covers business, entrepreneur and social networks
- We have not included any selective or exclusive networks
We tried to cover the whole of the UK and included many international women’s networks as well, – we might have missed someone who should be on the list, so please do comment below.
Our selection of the best women’s networks:
We Are The City
Founded by the brilliant Vanessa Vallelly, We Are The City supports women in their career, runs conferences and awards. It is one of the best networks where you get connected with leading women across industries, make connections and learn new skills. Their Rising Stars Awards aims to highlight the future stars across multiple categories showcasing female talent. And Tech Women 100 Awards recognises rising talent within the technology sector.
Join We Are The City for:
- A career in a big corporate
- Women in business networking
- Learning skills for career development
Lean In Circles
Lean In Circles are small groups of women who meet regularly to learn and grow together. The Circles are lead by volunteer women and can be set up by anyone. A Circle can be a monthly roundtable at your home, a brown-bag lunch at work or a virtual meet-up with people from around the world.
We truly love the concept created by Sheryl Sandberg but recommend you do a little bit of research on the Circle leader before committing your time, not all Lean In groups are regular or structured. Lean In Circles are free to join making it an easy way to start networking, but this may affect the commitment of other women in the circle.
Join Lean In Circle for:
- Getting to know women in your area or industry
- Group support
- Facing career challenges together
The Women’s Chapter
The Women’s Chapter is a London-based women’s network and event platform for high impact women. The network champions women in business, as well as the companies they have founded. They run intimate events for industry leaders, plus larger outreach ones covering topics relevant to all women.
There’s three membership tiers. Community Membership is free to join and gives you access to inspiring events, Business Membership is directed to women business owners and high impact career women and they also have a Corporate Membership for organisations.
Join The Women’s Chapter for:
- High quality events with inspiring women leaders and business owners
- Meeting other women in business
- Promoting women led brands
DrivenWoman is the go-to place for ambitious women who want to take action on their goals and dreams. It’s a powerful community of women who are interested in personal growth and success in all areas of their life, not just in their careers.
Women join the network for progressing their personal goals, and stay for growing together with other like-minded women. The focus is on figuring out what your ‘bigger life’ actually looks like and taking consistent steps to make it happen. It’s like joining the gym, if you keep showing up you will soon see great progress and get results.
Join DrivenWoman for:
- Free support in the Doers Tribe community
- Starting a journey to create the life you want
- Making deep, authentic connections
- Accountability and support to make things happen
Purpose Girls: The Women’s Happiness Network
Purpose Girls is a free Facebook group based on the science of women’s happiness, positive psychology, and infused by the essence of the feminine. Its founder, Carin Rockind, is a positive psychology coach who is frequently featured at DrivenWoman’s member webinars. Carin brings her incredible energy into the group making it a safe environment to empower, encourage and embrace one another. Expect inspiration, great vibes and celebrating your wins.
Join Purpose Girls for:
- Daily dose of happiness and inspiration
- Meeting other women who want to live their purpose
- Inspiring success stories
Started as a members club in Central London in 2018, Allbright has become one of the leading global communities for advancing women in their careers. The women’s network aims to connect smart-minded women through digital and physical spaces, driving change for women in business. Allbright Academy provides courses and tools on multiple topics including leadership, career hacks and financial fitness.
Join Allbright for:
- Connecting with other women in business
- Learning about taking your career or business to the next level
- Inspiration and workshops from industry leaders
Women Who Start Up
A US based learning platform for a global community of female entrepreneurs and innovators. Women Who Startup provides a network, a platform, multiple sources of collaboration and rapid-learning to female entrepreneurs and innovators who are committed to building successful companies. Their yearly virtual seminar Women Who Startup Rally features successful women founders.
Join Women Who Startup for:
- Connecting with other women entrepreneurs
- Learning the skills needed to build a successful business
- Getting support from other women entrepreneurs for your daily startup questions
Peanut app is a social platform that connects women across fertility and motherhood. It’s a little like Facebook for women who are mothers or are looking to become mothers. Conversations range from emergency c section to the challenges of working from home. It’s free to join and you can search for local mother groups and get connected with other mothers.
Join Peanut for:
- Connecting with other mothers in your area or globally
- Asking for advice or discussing topics related to motherhood
- Sharing your experience as a mother
Hub Dot’s mission is to revolutionise the way women make connections, regardless of whether in business, at the school gate, in higher education or philanthropy. They aim to level the playing field by stripping away labels, job titles and social status so that women can focus on shaping their story, making meaningful connections and growing their reach.
They bring women together in virtual events around topics such as pitching and storytelling. Joining the Community is free and you pay for each individual event separately.
Join Hub Dot for:
- Expanding your network and meeting new people
- Learning new skills
- Exploring your voice
Bloomsbury Beginnings is a network for women who are looking to start or grow their sustainable social enterprise and need more than a ‘how to’ start up webinar or book, but are not ready for the long term commitment of a startup accelerator. They run a 5 week programme helping female founders set strategic and achievable goals based on a business plan. They also offer consultancy, training and project management for social enterprises and charities.
Join Bloomsbury Beginnings for:
- Startup advice for social entrepreneurs
- A community of women with shared values
- Small group coaching and goal setting
Mothers Meetings is a women’s network for creative, contemporary moms who want to talk about other things than nappies and nipple cream. It’s a network of women that offers support and inspiration for the new journey of combining motherhood and what you are creating.
A monthly subscription gets you access to their virtual events, to be featured on their social media platforms and more. They have guest speakers and run professionally lead workshops for savvy women. We love their vibe!
Join Mothers Meeting for:
- Meeting other mothers who want to be more than mothers
- To expand your public reach and get featured
- Support and workshops
Northern Power Women
Northern Power Women is a network for women in corporate careers from the north of England. Their mission is to engage women and men from all industries as ‘agents of change’ and connect, collaborate and celebrate their achievements. They have many ways to get involved from virtual events to awards and a brilliant podcast.
Join Northern Power Women for:
- Expanding your network
- Developing career skills
- Amplifying your voice
Women In Business Network
WINB is a women’s network for growing your local business in the United Kingdom. It’s for women who wish to gain new business opportunities through word of mouth. It is great for widening your network and finding pitching opportunities. They also run a wast variety of workshops from public speaking to clutter free kitchens.
Join WINB for:
- Business connections
- Widening your network
- Learning business skills
Forward Ladies is a global platform that connects women to opportunities, networks, businesses and expertise that empowers them. They have been going on since 1999 and have built a nation wide network of brilliant ladies who want to better themselves in business.
It’s very easy to join and accessible to all women. They also work closely with some of the UK’s biggest companies, run high quality events with great speakers and train women leaders in male dominated industries. You can join as a member or pay as you go for ‘drop in’ sessions.
Join Forward Ladies for:
- expanding your network
- Leadership development
- Online training and mentoring
National Black Women’s Network
The NBWN is a women’s network devoted to empowering, informing and connecting black women across the UK. It champions the advancement of women across all professional disciplines by promoting leadership and positioning its members at the forefront of the rapidly changing corporate and business world. They organise a wide range of online events with leading UK corporations to promote diversity and inclusion.
Join NBWN for:
- Expanding your network
- Learning new skills
- Connecting with like-minded women
ProjectWE was set up by ProjectME founder Kelly Pietrangeli to bring together mothers who wanted to reframe, re-group and make a positive game-plan. The program helps members to stay consistent with whatever is most important so you live in alignment with your highest values. They have monthly workshops and mentoring calls and you can follow Kelly’s personal development journey through her brilliant podcast The Project ME Podcast.
Join Project We for:
- Personal development
- Support by like-minded women
- Improving all areas of your life
Everywoman was founded over 15 years ago by Maxine Benson and Karen Gill, who recognised the need to change the landscape for women in business. Everywoman is a membership organisation that champions the advancement of women in business to close the gender pay gap. It provides personal development resources, leadership training, events, award programmes, networking opportunities and inspiration for women in business and female entrepreneurs.
Everywoman organises events, networking, awards and leadership programmes. With a presence in over 100 countries and a successful active network of over 30,000 members, everywoman is recognised globally as the professional organisation that drives the development of women at all levels.
Join Everywoman for:
- Personal development tools, webinars and learning for career advancement
- Research and articles on gender equality
The Boss Babe Academy is one of the larger online networks for millennial women, a specialised monthly subscription service aiming to be the best resources on how to build an online business you love using social media and the internet. You get exclusive access to other members, business experts and materials that will guide you step-by-step on how to actually grow a business that fits into your lifestyle. You can join the membership or book yourself into their Launch School.
Join Boss Babe for:
- Starting and growing your online business
- Making more money
- Online community
HeyMama connects mothers who are growing careers and families. Members interact on group emails, Slack and during monthly digital and live events. You can join specialised sub-communities by location, motherhood stage or industry to meet other mamas. Members can join forces to build ideas and collaborations, or even businesses together. Monthly subscription gets you access to the community and events.
Join HeyMama for:
- Meeting other mothers in business
- Finding people to collaborate with
- Crowdsourcing advice
US based The Wing is a co-working space for women. They are re-opening their doors ‘soon’ (when we are writing this). The Wing clubs have been designed for women and they also have a community where you can find collaborators and connect with other women in business.
Join The Wing for:
- Beautiful working environment
- Community of other women in careers and businesses
- Inspiring events
It is incredible how many fantastic women’s networks have come to existence in recent years. Surely there’s something that fits everyone’s needs and budgets on this list.
We are proud that DrivenWoman has become the ‘go-to’ place for ambitious women who know that building a life you want is possible, but you have to put in the work and are much better off when supported by other ambitious women taking action. We help women get clarity on their goals and a framework for taking small steps and building confidence.
If you are looking to make lots of quick connections we are not for you. We provide simple tools that help you take action but our focus is also not on teaching a lot of theory. If you are ready to get committed to your goals and to show up, we are the right network for you. Subscribe today or register to our next free online event.
This article was originally published on 8. Oct. 2017 and it was updated on 25. May 2021.