Women's network on the rise
LISMORE businesswomen are on the march.
A little over four years ago, eight businesswomen met for a drink and a chat, today more than 50 women met fortnightly for Lismore's networking event Women in Business.
“It's just skyrocketed,” said founding member Sharon Dowling, adding that the group has about 350 subscribers.
“It's not a meeting, it's more of a get-together. It's very informal, everyone just goes in, buys a drink and for an hour-and-a-half it's just women chatting among themselves.”
The group, Women in Business, was an initiative of the Summerland Sunrise Rotary Club and has since firmly est-ablished itself on the Lismore business scene. Tomorrow it will be relaunched with a new website and new name – The Stella Network.
“It's good for networking, but there is really no formality to it – it's just an opportunity for women to met like-minded women,” Ms Dowling said.
Women are encouraged to wear name tags to facilitate mingling and generally are each given a couple of minutes at the end of the gathering to address the group about what they do.
“If two women come in together we separate them and get them talking to women they don't know and would not necessarily met in their normal walk of life,” Ms Dowling said.
It has even used the “speed dating” approach, where women talk to each other for a couple of minutes, before moving onto the next in line.
“For years blokes have gone to meet in the pubs and talk about their businesses, whereas women generally can't go and do that,” Ms Dowling said.
“Networking for women is often a little bit harder unless they are working at the school canteen or sporting activities.
“You don't have to be in business, it's open to ladies from any walk of life.”
The Stella Network meets every second Wednesday at La Baracca at 5.30pm. The cost is $5 for nibbles and all women are welcome.
The next meeting is tomorrow night.