Oprah vs. Martha. Jennifer vs. Angelina. Coco vs. Elsa. The story of female rivalry is one of the oldest in the book. But girl fights are more myth than mantra for the thousands of women that belong to Chicago's professional clubs, run by and for women to empower their counterparts. Let the men compete, these women join the club in order to empower.
The Chicago Network (TCN) is an invitation-only organization of more than 450 leading female personalities, with an impressive membership list of who's who among Chicago women and a million dollar annual budget. Not only must new members be invited but they also must be endorsed or "second-handed" by two other TCN members. But while getting in may be difficult, the benefits are said to be substantial for those lucky enough to join TCN.
Why join? Some say it's an honor just being nominated! The club's 24-hour rule requires members to respond to all members within 24 hours... making membership emails and phone calls a top priority. And word on the street is that important and influential introductions are made seamlessly for TCN members who make their wishes known. Details at thechicagonetwork.org.
Professional Women's Club of Chicago (PWCC) aims to empower local women both personally and professionally via networking connections. Upcoming events, held at the Union League Club of Chicago, feature topics such as "Why It Makes Sense to Invest in Women and Girls" and "Using Creativity to Fuel Growth" and are typically presented by area business and cultural leaders.
Why join? Progressive luncheons are designed as meet and greets at which members effortlessly grow their own roster of contacts in a variety of industries. Annual membership fees begin at $185 per year and go up to $2,000 for corporate sponsors. For more information and to apply online, log on to pwcc.org.
Dynamic Professional Women's Networking (DPWN) is an association of women dedicated to helping each other professionally, with chapters not only in Chicago but also in surrounding suburbs such as Barrington, Gurnee, Naperville, and more. The group provides members with a virtual networking platform that allows searches of members by business description or keywords and includes key contact information including social media links.
Why join? DPWN has a robust and searchable online networking database. Membership is free with enhanced "chapter" membership costing just $300 a month. Details at ourdpwn.com.
Exclusive Professional Women’s Networking Group (EPWNG) focuses on helping members "springboard" their careers. With 282 members in Illinois, three chapters, and 113 industries represented, EPWNG offers a diverse group of members and limits the number of members in any one industry per chapter.
Why join? Offering the opportunity to network and learn, frequent meetings are held not only in Chicago but also in surrounding areas such as the North Shore and Western suburbs. Annual membership dues are $125 with a $25 fee for each meeting attended. Apply online at epwng.memberclicks.net.
Johanna Grange and Carolyn Jarrett are the Founders of Oak Street Social, a boutique social media marketing firm that combines a deep and well-versed understanding of what appeals to consumers with an appreciation for how social media drives brand loyalty and consumer spending. To keep up with their latest works be sure to follow them on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.