Women In Cambridge was started four years ago when a group of female entrepreneurs joined forces to help each other navigate owning a small business. After about a year the group got connected with the Cambridge Commission on the Status of Women, and it’s now evolved into monthly networking meet-ups open to all women who live or work in the city.
“It’s really hard to network,” says Emily Shield, program coordinator for the commission. “Maybe you have space to rent in your office, or maybe you have graphic design skills you can lend out, or you’re looking for someone to help you with social media … [The group] does have that ‘women in the workplace’ emphasis of what are the particular issues that women in the workplace might face, how can we help each other, how can we build each other up, how can we support one another, how can we meet one another, and that’s where we’ve evolved to.”
The two primary goals for the meet-ups are networking and learning, Shield explains. The events have a wide range of focuses, from learning about beekeeping at Follow the Honey to discussing the importance of doing work you find meaningful at Art & Soul Yoga to taking a backstage tour at the Central Square Theater.
When a small enough number of people show up to the events, the women go around and introduce themselves, saying what they need help with and what they can offer to someone else, according to Shield.
Women In Cambridge is teaming up with Cambridge Open Studios for its next event, bringing two participating artists, a member of Cambridge Arts, and the executive director of the Community Art Center to speak on Sept. 24.
“What we’re going to hope to do is look at our vibrant arts scene in Cambridge now and how it relates to women and feminism and women in work,” Shield says. “Everyone has a story to tell about their experience in the field as a woman.”
Shield explains that the four speakers will only share in front of the group for about 20 minutes in total, leaving plenty of time for the attendees to network with each other and with the speakers.
Cambridge Arts is presenting the 10th annual Open Studios on Sept. 29 and 30. Attendees will have the chance to look into almost 150 local artists’ studios for free during the weekend.
Women In Cambridge’s September event will be held on Sept. 24 at 6 p.m. in Gallery 344, which is located at 344 Broadway.