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The rise of working women hubs

Women’s networking is revamped for the 21st century

A new crop of female-only workspaces are bridging work and play. Spanning talks, podcasts, newsletters and dinner parties, these emerging hubs combine digital reach with face-to-face interaction in a bid to connect creatives in a meaningful way. As it stands, the gender pay gap is at its lowest ever level (at just over 18% in the UK) as more and more women are lured by the flexibility and independence of freelancing or heading up their own business. Here are some of the best platforms nurturing a global community of working women who are set on doing it for themselves.

The WW Club

The WW Club is a hybrid community space linking digital and virtual worlds with multiplatform career resources, headed by journalist and moderator Phoebe Lovatt. After relocating to Los Angeles in 2015, the London-born creative grew frustrated at the lack of networking spaces for women and so started on a calendar of live talks and dinner parties nurturing female professionals. A regular podcast and slick weekly newsletter covering all things career-related keep the club’s global community in the loop, while Lovatt’s newly released work/life manual – The Working Women’s Handbook – packs in chapters on money management, goal setting and self care. thewwclub.com

Future Girl Corp

“FutureGirlCorp aims to encourage the next generation of female CEOs to think bigger, play harder and build global businesses, not kitchen table ones,” says WAH Nails founder Sharmadean Reid of her latest venture, a mentoring scheme nurturing emerging female-led start-ups. A 12-hour business workshop launched the initiative in October 2016, followed by a slew of monthly events equipping budding bosses with enterprise know-how. Start-up legalities, launch plans and customer acquisition are among the many practical topics covered, set against a backdrop of networking and cocktails. Reid often lends her own tips and tricks when moderating conversations at FutureGirlCorp events, detailing her experience heading one of the UK’s pioneering beauty brands. futuregirlcorp.com

Women Who (London)

Otegha Uwagba, formerly of AMV BBDO and Vice Media, quit her job and launched Women Who to manifest the female support system she so yearned for. Defined as ‘a community dedicated to connecting and supporting creative working women’, Uwagba’s platform helps illustrators, designers, writers and other media professionals streamline their working lives. Design classes, gallery visits, meet ups and online time-management guide sheets are among the goods offered. Uwagba’s newly released career bible, Little Black Book: A Toolkit for Working Women, condenses many of her own learnings alongside advice from influential media leaders, namely The Gentlewoman’s Penny Martin and Refinery29 co-founder Piera Gelardi. womenwho.co

The Wing (New York)

On entering The Wing’s Manhattan-based penthouse, you may stumble across Lena Duhnam brainstorming her latest venture on a pink velvet settee, or find Glossier founder Emily Reiss discussing her latest beauty products over matcha lattes. Such is the vibe of the cult women’s co-working and community space, a one-stop-shop for media professionals and industry powerhouses to connect, recharge and relax. The brainchild of Audrey Gelman (a former PR consultant) and Lauren Kassan (of fitness start-up Classpass), the 3,500 square foot space boasts private conference rooms, charging stations, showers and a lactation room, in addition to monthly talks and mixers. Their second space, a recently opened Soho-based location, may do well to curb the 1000-strong membership waitlist. the-wing.com

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