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Guide: Women’s Networks

The Rough Period. Currently in New South Wales alone, there are over 28 000 people experiencing homelessness. With a common misconception that this primarily affects men, women’s health in homelessness is often neglected from this conversation. The Rough Period founded by friends Jasmine Coronado, Amber Sisson and Noni Cragg has simple objective; to provide women sleeping rough on the streets of Sydney, with safe, clean and essential sanitary items. Local Sydney women have been donating old handbags filled with the all female fundamentals, after a popular call out on social media hit a critical, compassionate nerve.  These care bags are collected at drop off points, and with a passionate team of dedicated volunteers, hit the streets and handed to those ladies in need. The business is on it’s way to becoming a certified non-for-profit and does not accept any monetary donations, but will happy accept physical product donations.  Find out more about how you can help here.

Inspiring Rare Birds Inspiring Rare Birds is an entrepreneurial online community, globally connecting women to help them grow and scale their businesses in a multitude of industries.  Its business model is built on a fundamental goal; to provide every woman with the choice and opportunity to become an entrepreneur. Founder and CEO Jo Burston has a serious mission – to see 1 million female entrepreneurs globally within the next 10 years. With a call out for all women to join the movement, and help inspire other ladies to believe that, “If she can do it, then so can I”. IRB has a world-class mentoring program, and has recently launched the world’s first all-female, full-service speaker’s agency and media hub called Rare Birds Speak   The agency has a key focus on working towards achieving gender balance on every platform across the world. Membership is free and this rich, comprehensive and supportive community is a stand-out business and networking group for women.

Sydney Women’s Fund Sydney Community Foundation is a non-for-profit founded 13 years ago, and Sydney’s very first public community foundation.  It’s also the birthplace of fellow The Office Space collaborator Sydney Women’s Fund. The Women’s Fund was established in 2006 when a circle of female Sydney leaders joined forces and together, pooled their collective ideas, profile, and resources to inspire and support local girls and women in the Sydney community. With a focus not only on community building, but advocacy for women’s safety, shelter, and education, it relies on grants enable by the Board for Sydney Community Foundation to deliver its’ projects to those in need. The Office Space proudly partners with SCF and SWF, donating our Insight ticket sales purchased through Humanitix, directly to these supported foundations.

Women In Focus Commbank born Women in Focus, believes in empowering women. They specialise in supporting women-led businesses through digital channels, networking events and key partnerships.  These partnerships provide the skills, support, and resources, to help women turn a great idea into thriving business. Lead by Melynda Carpenter, they focus on three areas; business guidance, female empowerment, and women’s business events, culminating these key aspects.  They aim to support women at all stages of their business careers by sharing real stories from real women, coupled with practical expertise and advice, and in turn, nurture these connections with likeminded professional women. It’s free to sign up as a member and provides a crucial platform to support women in their varying business journeys.  With relevant content, accessible advice, and a multitude of event listing’s to suit and support every woman, it’s a comprehensive community to be a part of.

Business Chicks. Lastly, this leads us to Australia’s largest women-only networking group, none other than Business Chicks. It has a global membership of over 45 000 women, with a focus on business and entrepreneurship, though open to any woman in any industry, working or not working. Founded by Sydney-born Emma Issacs, the business now operates in 11 cities across Australia and the United States, and has a community of 460,000 women across its various platforms. An annual membership will set you back $199 as a one-off payment, plus a joining fee of $9.99.  This allows you unprecedented access to premium member-only events, discounts, competitions, job listings, feature articles and more. Among its many accolades it publishes a quarterly magazine Latte, and it’s 60 strong annual events program has pulled some significant guest speakers with likes of Sir Richard Branson, Kate Hudson, Arianna Huffington, Diane von Furstenberg and Jamie Oliver (and many more).

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