Calling all ladies! Are you a woman working in the corporate world? What about a female business owner or entrepreneur? No matter what line of work you’re in, The Women’s Collective (TWC) is the networking group for you! This all-female networking group originated in Pittsburgh in January 2020. In such a short amount of time, this network has grown into a group of over 100 women from all age groups and professions. The co-founders, Elisabeth Leach and Andrea Belen-Sandhorst, created this group as a way to inspire collaboration, camaraderie, and unparalleled deal-making opportunities through monthly networking events.
Each month, TWC holds an event for professional development. A plus about these events is that each month they are held on a different day of the week and at different times and locations. This way if Thursdays at 6 pm don’t work for you, you might only miss one month’s event, but still be able to make the next one! The events range from a fun Sunday brunch at The Yard at The Galleria to a rooftop cocktail hour overlooking Downtown Pittsburgh. The structure of the events is as follows. To kick off the two-hour event, there is an hour of mingling where you can make your way around the room introducing yourself to others and finding those you may have things in common with. Be sure to bring business cards! You’ll also have the opportunity to enjoy some food and drinks. After the hour of mingling, everyone is asked to be seated and then the speaker portion of the event begins.
Due to the fact that there is a wide variety of professionals in this networking group, the topic of the speaker changes each month. For example, one month the speaker was Elyse Levkulich, better known as the one and only BurghNosh on Instagram. She spoke about some up-and-coming restaurants to the Pittsburgh scene as well as some of her favorite spots to grab a bite such as Dish in Southside. There’s nothing like getting the inside scoop from one of Pittsburgh’s top foodie influencers! Another month’s networking event featured a speaker from Henderson Brothers, Inc. who discussed the benefits and value of Private Client Group insurance. Some topics that were discussed were insurance on identity fraud and other types of cyberattacks on high net worth organizations and individuals. As you can see those are pretty much opposite ends of the spectrum. Another positive of this group is the variety of topics!
Recently, TWC rolled out a Membership program where you are able to pay a yearly fee of $200 as a corporate member (with each additional person from your business being $150) or $150 as a solo entrepreneur/individual. In exchange, you will become an official member of the networking group. With this membership you gain access to discounted prices on monthly events, invites to the exclusive members-only holiday party, customized networking plan with other members of the group, etc. You also have the opportunity to serve on the board committees of the group. There are four subsections: membership & recruitment, technology, marketing & events, and corporate relations. This way, no matter what your wheelhouse is, you are able to find a match on the board.
The last large benefit of this group is the annual business conference. This past year was the first conference and it was hosted at Loft Conference Centers in Southpointe. The focus of this conference was to help embrace female empowerment, tackle work/life balance, and employ a successful social media strategy on LinkedIn and Instagram. The keynote speaker was Alexandra Williams, Mid-Atlantic Head of Sales, Google Cloud, Google. She discussed the #IAmRemarkable Google initiative and the importance of self-promotion. As females in corporate America and small business owners, you can see how this topic truly resonates with the women of this group. The best part about the conferences is because they are hosted by TWC and not a large nationwide organization, the cost was a very affordable $120 for the day of education and networking.
Whether you are a financial planner or the owner of a party planning business you began during COVID, The Women’s Collective is a space for all women to blossom. Through the support of other ambitious women and the connections they can offer, you are sure to gain much more than professional skills in this group. You’ll gain friendships, partnerships, and maybe even future business by attending these events and becoming a member. Check out TWC on Instagram at @the_womens_collective_pgh or email Elisabeth Leach for more information on how to get involved at firstname.lastname@example.org.This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.