Are women only communities and networks necessary?

Ok, nothing like challenging our whole premise for an online website, but we might as well start as we mean to go on. The Up For Debate feature, is all about challenging preconceptions and taking nothing for granted. So feel free to tell us how you really feel, we want to know!

I recently came across an interesting article on the website on Women and funding. The article includes interviews with very successful business women who had the following to say about women’s only networks…

Sahar Hashemi, co-founder of Coffee Republic and now managing director of healthy confectionery venture Skinny Candy, it’s disempowering to linger on these factual inequalities: ‘I’ve never come across any gender difference when it comes to entrepreneurship. All we have to do for future generations is remove these mental barriers, as the idea that gender remains an issue is so outdated.


Susanna Simpson, managing director of Limelight PR, believes the debate about gender can be something of a red herring. ‘I don’t understand why there are groups for women in business. I hate the clubs that are out there as I think they almost reinforce a separation into two groups.

‘In my view, if you’re good at business and passionate about growing a company, it doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman. I don’t want to spend my time meeting women in business, I just want to meet people who are good at business.’

Both of these women have created very successful businesses and have done very well by not playing the gender game.

What do you think? Are you a member of a women’s networking group? Do you think that there is a place for women only networking or communities? What works about it? Do we need it? Why do we need it.

On this website we are defining debate as “An informal and spirited but civil discussion of opposing views”, so please be respectful but offer your opinion liberally.

Julie Hall

Business Mentor & founder of Women Unlimited

Julie is the founder of Women Unlimited and a business mentor to women who know they are ready to step into their leadership. She works closely with them to help them remove the blocks that hold them back and achieve their business goals. Clarity, Focus, Strategy, Mindset and Marketing.

Be the change that you want to see. Step into your leadership.