It’s no secret that women face many unique challenges in the workplace. Connecting with other women and female-identifying professionals can be key to overcoming these challenges. Finding a group of women to support you and your professional growth can go a long way towards boosting your career satisfaction.
If you’re interested in connecting with other women professionals, Portland is the place to be. It’s time to get together, share opportunities to strengthen the community of professional women in Portland, and find inspiration for your own career. Here are six organizations you should know about that provide opportunities and foster connections for professional women in Portland.
Center for Women’s Leadership
The Center for Women’s Leadership (CWL) is the only organization of its kind in the Northwest. With a mission to increase women and girls’ leadership, CWL hosts leadership trainings, supports research on women’s leadership, develops and shares curricula on the achievements of Oregon women leaders, and supports Oregon’s women leaders through a speakers series and informational digital archive.
- In their own words: “The Center for Women’s Leadership is changing the way her leadership looks from the ground up.”
- Keep in touch: @CWLpdx
- Connect: Get involved with CWL by attending their regular speaker series and annual Power Lunch. If you’re a current college student, you can enroll in their NEW Leadership Oregon programs, too.
Women’s Foundation of Oregon
With values to be bold, compassionate, inclusive, determined, optimistic, and accountable, the Women’s Foundation is striving to make Oregon a place where every woman and girl can thrive.
- In their own words: “We craft opportunities for everyone who cares about Oregon women to participate, contribute, and connect.”
- Keep in touch: @WomensFndOregon
- Connect: Read their latest research report, Count Her In, which lists insightful stats about Oregon’s female workforce. You can also become a member of the foundation and attend their local events.
The Link for Women
The Link connects women from all walks of life through events and programs designed to help women reach their full potential. If you want to meet accomplished women interested in continuing to learn and be inspired, this is the organization for you. Join this membership-based community to attend their speakers series or hands-on workshops.
- In their own words: “The Link is a company that provides pathways to identify and use one’s inherent talents, opening doors to help business and individuals clarify their VISION.”
- Keep in touch: @TheLinkForWomen
- Next step: If you’d like to become involved with The Link, you can become a member and attend their regular member gatherings in the Portland area. Remember to bring a fresh stack of business cards!
The Women’s Plaza
The Women’s Plaza envisions a place “where work and childcare, networking and nurturing, all happen under one roof.” And they’re making that dream a reality. Imagine a co-working space where childcare is provided and things like yoga lunch breaks are a regular occurrence.
- In their own words: “Our vision is a world where working mothers are fully and equally supported, recognized and compensated as indispensable active members of our society”
- Keep in touch: @WomensPlaza
- Next step: The Women’s Plaza isn’t up and running yet, but you can join their mailing list to stay tuned for updates. In the meantime, check out other female-focused coworking spaces in town like Broad Space in inner Southeast Portland.
Women’s Business Center – Mercy Corps NW
Mercy Corps Northwest hosts the only Women’s Business Center (WBC) in Oregon, funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The WBC provides education, financing, and resources to help entrepreneurs succeed, with extra consideration for specific challenges and issues for women entrepreneurs.
- In their own words: “We believe that women business owners are community leaders and want to help you actively engage and advocate for the change you want to see.”
- Keep in touch: @mercycorpsnw
- Next step: If you’ve ever dreamed of starting your own business, this is an excellent resource to get the practical know-how and community support needed for such an ambitious endeavor. To get involved with Mercy Corps’ WBC program, sign up for one of their three business training programs, apply for a business-propelling grant, or attend one of their frequent events.
At the core of Hub Dot is the mission to revolutionize the way women network. It’s about removing labels. Through “Dot Alchemy,” Hub Dot lightens the pressure or awkwardness of networking, giving women the opportunity to connect based on discussing “What’s your story?” rather than “What do you do?” This group of women loves to support each other through sharing personal stories and connecting in an authentic and fun environment.
- In their own words: “At the core of Hub Dot is the mission to revolutionise the way women network, regardless of whether they are in business, at the school gate, in higher education or philanthropy.”
- Keep in touch: @hubdot
- Next step: Portland is lucky enough to be one of the handful of cities Hub Dot takes place in. Join their mailing list to hear about upcoming events, and join their online community to keep your inspiration flowing in the meantime.
This list is just a sampling of the networking opportunities for women in Portland. We’ll work to keep it updated as more groups sprout up! Another great way to connect and find events is through Facebook groups. Check out groups like Boss Ladies PDX and Ladies’ Night PDX to get started.