Micro-Economics interested me at school (genuinely it did, Mr Manville) but these days, it’s not something I bring up too often over a gin. This Sunday then, I was surprised to read my own name in a Times article on the ‘New Capitalism’. I was flattered to be mentioned along side seasoned business luminaries like Joe Corre and Deborah Meaden.
The theme of the this unexpected coverage? Keeping business niche and personal.
It woke a dormant urge in me. Well first I called everyone in my phone book but after that I was moved to write about something I’ve been considering recently; my own female-led, locally-based business circle. I knew it but I suppose this article made it official. I belong to a coterie of women movers and shakers of which I am quietly but I think justifiably proud. Who are these dynamic women though? Well, dear readers, let me bestow on them the title of (thunderous drum roll please ) The New Girls’ Club’ or NGC. I’m sure it wont have the same impact as BRIC nations, but you read it here first.
So what are the rules of the NGC?
- 1st rule: It is open to all ages and backgrounds, so long as you have something to offer, and are willing to share – no throwing the rattle out of the pram please.
- 2nd rule: Listen to others, keep an open mind. Leave the snobbery by the coat stand.
- 3rd rule: Partake in collaboration, skill swapping, sharing of contacts and products on an ongoing basis. Not just when you are being paid for it.
Bonus ball: Remember, you didn’t invent the wheel. Modesty is not just about the length of your skirt.
Is this another victory in the gender war? That might be overstating it, I’m not sure froo-froo is a feminist issue. However I do not see an army of male entrepreneurs running successful businesses out of their living rooms, I can only see what is going on around me and that is very clear. I see a troop of women armed with ideas, notes books and New Media OCD advancing their careers with exciting and self-created events and projects.
What has been a major factor in their success? Collaboration.
So why do women share and collaborate, even with those might be considered competitors? Because *whispers* its not always a competition, and this is exactly what the Times picked up on. Cate Sevilla, Editor of the ultimate source of all thing you should know about right now has this to say on the matter:
‘I think because things can be tough for women in business, when we see other women who are doing it for themselves and are really passionate and excited about what they’re doing – we want to connect with them.
Women are fantastic at networking and collaborating because it’s quite exciting to meet like-minded women, and even more exciting to actually collaborate and combine your different talents to create something spectacular.
If more women could get past the over-competitiveness and catty jealousy, we could produce even bigger and better things, because we would be working together.’
We are not turning back the clock and bartering bunting for baked goods. Jam and Jerusalem, this ain’t. It’s about trading ideas and getting people involved in the bigger picture.
Nor, I am pleased to say, can this movement be accused of perceived social shallowness. It isn’t all about sequins. Indeed some of the NGCs take their inspiration direct from that most inspirational girls club, the Suffragettes. Climate Rush, a female led environmental group, first recruited members by reaching out to Women’s groups. As their numbers grew, protest attendance became gender equal, and welcomely so, (incidentally they also have some cool vintage inspired outfits, which ticks my box) so no ditching this in a militant, women only dead-end.
Here are my NGC heroes, people who just make things happen, and also call you 3 months down the line for the next project. Who are yours? Do let us know. Go on, name and champagne!