Service and Networking

In this busy time, where women are wearing many hats and basically feeling overwhelmed, there is still a place in their hearts where they want to give back. They may not have time to do more than a meeting a month, but they want to make a difference for someone less fortunate than themselves.

In my travels I’ve found that most women, no matter their circumstance, want to reach out to help other women or children. In fact more times than not, I have to remind them to give from their abundance, not from their core! Whether it’s a single mom just launching a new business as well as raising a family, a retired school teacher learning to live on a fixed income while helping her own children get through these rough times, a young business professional working her way up the corporate ladder and tackling a Master’s program, I see such a similar focus time and again.Talk about full plates! Their hands and minds may be busy, yet their hearts still have a space in it that wants to be valued, wants to be helpful, and wants to give back. I’m usually always left in awe of their generous spirits, and so glad to be a part of the sisterhood.

There are several national women’s organizations that answer this need. Soroptomist and Zonta International have chapters in most cities. These are Service Organizations first and foremost, but networking is certainly a bi-product. I am aware that many Zonta clubs have created their own non-profit foundations as they try to raise the status of women locally and globally. Then we have EWomen Network, with national chapters, that is a business networking organization with a foundation attached. Having just returned from their International Conference, I can safely say I have been blown away by their content, speakers and FUN factor. It’s a world-class conference for women (over 3,000 attendees) and whether you’re a member or not – think about attending next July.  NAWBO is another great women’s business organization with more of a focus on political business advocacy than the others. Then there is the PEO and NAFE who also help women with education and advocacy.

This is just a smattering of the available groups you can join and of course every chapter and every city has it’s own personality and dynamics. We’ve all heard the horror stories about women working together but here’s my bottom line: yes, sometimes a group can become dysfunctional but that can happen in any office, in any club, in any church and its not limited to just women. But at their best, when women are high functioning and respectful of the power of utilizing differing skill sets, when they work together toward a common goal – they create magic and they are unstoppable. Behold the Power of Women!

Currently I’m producing The Glass Slipper Ball Featuring the Best of the Chefs in 4 cities with different chapters of Zonta.  The synergy and exchange of Best Practices between these clubs has been mind-blowing! I’m just the conductor, standing in the center and making sure this orchestra benefits from the talents of everyone in their different region. We have no time to re-invent the wheel. Everyone wants to be their best and do their best while learning from each other. High performing, high functioning, highly skilled women – making a difference, it’s something to behold. I feel honored to be of service.

Know of a national organization making a difference in your neck of the woods?  – Let me hear from you!