Not golf courses, not organized events or business lunches.
Now there is another place to meet and connect.
My new favorite is Facebook Groups.
Facebook Groups provide a really safe place to share ideas, questions and opinions. Closed groups can require approval of people who ask to join. For example in my Virtual Brainstorming for +40 Women Entrepreneurs group, I do approve women under 40. (Who would know their age anyway?) But I do not approve men.
Sorry, guys, but as most women know, even one man in a group can change the atmosphere.
Here's an example. For many years I belonged to the NinetyNines, an international organization of women pilots. Our local chapter met for lunch one day a week. Sometimes there would be 25 and sometimes there would be six. All women.
We didn't prohibit men from joining us on the rare occasions when one wanted to but it seldom happened. One time the husband of one of our members came. He was a low time private pilot but he gave flying advice to us. Can't remember the topic but it was clearly pompous and unfounded by his experience. Several of us attending were professional pilots - flight instructors, an airline pilot and several with advanced ratings such as commercial and multi-engine.
It just stopped the usual pleasant conversation while this guy showered us with his wisdom.
Okay, back to my premise:
Women are more comfortable connecting and engaging in a setting which includes only other females, when being vulnerable. When we are throwing out ideas for opinions, we really prefer not to be lectured by men.
Unlike men, women are comfortable asking others for opinions. We really want to hear what they have to suggest. It doesn't make us feel inadequate to do this. Most men really hate to ask for directions and advice. Women find it useful to learn from other people's experience and are eager to hear from them.
We ladies ask a friend for lunch or spend a half hour on the phone, picking each others' brains and asking for advice. Now, with FB groups, this kind of support is available 24/7.
Here is another point: there are lots of introverts among women, even women in business, and Facebook groups are a great venue for them. It's a place where one can be as outgoing, or not, as she pleases. Some tell a lot about themselves and others are shy about sharing personal things. No matter; every one can feel welcome.
In fact there are groups specifically targeted to people who consider themselves to be introverted. One of my favorite group leaders mentions in some of her posts that she is one. Usually these mentions are greeted with comments by members who support her statement, admitting that they are too and that they love that they are comfortable in that setting.
It is quite amazing, the wide range of topics around which Facebook groups are created. There certainly are some that would interest you.
Yes, even if you are a man! Men enjoy interacting in groups of their choice too.
Have you joined a Facebook group yet! What kind would appeal to you? Tell us in the comments below.