No Men Allowed? Are Women-Only Groups A Benefit Or A Hindrance?

By Katie Krienitz

I was sitting in Women’s Studies 101 when I first identified with that dirty little f-word, feminist. I was 21 and so moved by the silenced history of women and the imbalances that still existed that I joined various women’s organizations and focused my attention on uplifting women any way I could.

I’ve been a member of women’s networking groups, women’s sports teams, women’s business groups and women’s therapy groups. And while they have all been incredibly beneficial, I realize that 10 years later, some of those groups leave me wanting more. This is most evident in business.

I had the opportunity to sit at the table with the  Presidential members of The Wealth Building Annex during their mastermind recently. The energy was electric as our business owners were giving and receiving mind-blowing ideas on how to deal with challenges and revolutionize their businesses. In one of our most vibrant moments, I thought about a woman with whom I had recently talked to about joining the Presidential mastermind. “Is it a women’s group?” she asked. I responded no and that gender didn’t matter, that the ideas and sense of community generated were incredible. Although she was impressed by the mastermind, she made it clear that she was not interested in a group that was not women-centered. And in that vibrant moment of the Presidential mastermind, I thought about how much she had missed out on because of her female-only focus.

At this point, you might be tempted to list off statistics that show women’s disadvantages in the business world (women still make about $0.75 for every $1 a man makes, women are still a minority in high level management positions, yadda, yadda, yadda). BUT, as part of a community focused on abundance, I have shed the finger pointing and statistic giving for an undying belief that I can do ANYTHING I put my mind to. That YOU can do anything you put your mind to. No matter your gender (or age, race, socio-economic status, sexual orientation or spiritual beliefs for that matter)! And onceyour mind gets wrapped around that, the important thing becomes surrounding yourself with brilliant and phenomenal people who can help you get to where you want to be (and whom you can help as well). Gender becomes a non-issue.

By no means do I want to imply that groups bringing women together are bad. They are wonderful and can be magnificent community builders! Especially when they’re revolved around experiences that are specific to women – like pregnancy groups, mothering groups or menopause groups. And, of course, there’s an entirely unique element of sisterhood that is created in women’s groups that is fantastic. But in business, surrounding yourself by as many points of views, experiences and cultures as possible actually strengthens your business!

So for all you wonderful women out there who may feel anxious about being the only woman in a boardroom full of men, remember that each of those men have the capability to enhance your business…and you have the capability to greatly enhance theirs! The more diverse your business community, the more powerful you and your business are!

Tampa Mastermind for business success

The Wealth Building Annex is a premiere business Mastermind group in Tampa, Florida. This group brings in knowledgeable and accredited individuals to speak on a wide range of topics to help grow one another’s businesses in a positive and abundant way.