Forget trying to get into the boys club. Ambitious female Bostonians can join forces with a nonprofit organization that aims to connect, inspire and showcase women who like to get things done.
Boston Lady Project recently launched in Boston, welcoming female business leaders, entrepreneurs and creative types to attend monthly meetups that cover more than just the usual exchange of business cards.
“I was psyched about [Boston Lady Project] from the beginning. I’ve been so excited to be a part of something that connects multiple networks of women in Boston,” said Boston Lady Project City Manager Ellen Cooper, 24.
Cooper, who works in marketing and is the only woman in her Cambridge office, said she was eager to spearhead a local chapter to help fellow female up-and-comers grow their social circles. Along with fellow co-manager Taylor Cotter, the pair are pushing to get the word out to potential members.
Providence Lady Project founders Julie Sygiel and Sierra Barter have celebrated two successful years at their chapter, and have since opened a New Haven chapter.
“Here in Rhode Island you always hear something along the lines of, ‘You need your carpets cleaned? I know a guy. Call Tony, he’ll take care of you. Tell him Mickey sent you.’ … We want to change that a little bit. We want it to be, ‘I know a girl!'” Barter told Get RI Magazine.
The group’s Boston kickoff event drew about 85 women to Workbar in Cambridge on Jan. 23.
“There was a lot of positive energy. Because of the success of the Providence chapter, organizers were pretty good about getting the word out there,” said Cooper.
The main difference between Boston Lady Project and most other Boston-area networking groups is that, although there is a professional aspect, much of the activities are aimed at socializing.
“That’s what separates us: There is a big social part as well,” said Cooper.
Dates have not yet been set, but organizers plan to host “active nights” that will likely include yoga, running, book discussions and paint nights.
“Those events are purely meant to be social and get women out of their normal circle and meeting each other,” said Cooper. “Our generation is reading ‘Lean In,’ and deciding who they want to be as working women, and there is a big push to have a social element.”
Cooper said the next meetup will likely happen sometime in March, however The Lady Project Summit will bring together women from all three cities — Providence, Boston and New Haven — in Providence on April 12.
Of course, some meetups will focus on professional issues, such as “three by three” events, in which three local women of different backgrounds, industries and career levels share their stories in three minutes.
Obviously, the events are “no boys allowed,” but who else is welcome?
“We have no requirements other than you are a woman or identify as a woman. You don’t have to be involved with any specific profession. We didn’t want to limit it or isolate anyone,” said Cooper.
The group offers memberships with benefits at $35 a year for individuals, including discounted tickets and access to members-only events, as well as access to private networking groups and social media promotion. Visit www.bosladyproject.com for more information.