The Ultimate Guide To Women’s Networking Groups in Philadelphia

Since “who you know” still matters, here’s a list of the local organizations that can help women in the Philadelphia region get ahead.

The Walnut Club founder and president Marla McDermott (right) with attorney Gloria Allred (left) at a September 2018 Walnut Club luncheon. Photo by Norma Velez.

“Who you know” is still a very powerful tool when it comes to career advancement. Here are the Philadelphia women’s organizations that can help you get connected and build strong relationships with the right people.

Society of Professional Women

Ranked by the Philadelphia Business Journal as the number one Philadelphia networking association, the Society of Professional Women offers members access to their networking events, educational lunches, and their She-Suite workshop series. These events feature opportunities to connect with leaders in the region, keynote speeches by celebrities and executives, and the opportunity to learn from experts on topics including branding, social media, and business law. In addition to these opportunities, members can participate in the Women Helping Women mentorship program and the No Limits Leadership initiative that seeks to empower young girls.

Businesses that are part of the Main Line Chamber of Commerce are eligible to join. For more information, click here.  

The Walnut Club

Established in 2015, The Walnut Club offers members a chance to network at a monthly Center City brunch, at the organization’s Center City and Manline lunch series, and at bi-monthly happy hour meetings in the suburbs. While the brunches are members only, members can bring guests to the happy hour and lunch series meetings. Additionally, at least two networking events per month are free of charge for members. Members can also participate in the club’s mentorship program and lead lectures, workshops, and webinars for the group. Complimentary and discounted tickets to events hosted by The Walnut Club’s partner organizations are available to members as well.

Dues are $720 per year or $60 a month. The club is currently offering a discount of $60 if you pay $660 upfront. Employees of startups that are under three years old pay a discounted yearly rate of $500.

Women’s Leadership Forum of Greater Philadelphia

The Women’s Leadership Forum of Greater Philadelphia seeks to “advance the development, growth and sustainability of women’s networks and initiatives in companies” in and around Philly. Their program of events from the past two years includes an annual women’s history month lunch, a panel on negotiation, and a panel on how to make the most of networking opportunities. Additionally, members have access to their online member list, blog, and a calendar of exclusive events.

Companies of over 500 employees with active women’s networks are eligible to join. Annual dues vary each year and are decided by the WLF Executive Board.

The Professional Women’s Roundtable

The Professional Women’s Roundtable hosts networking, community service, and educational events for its members. Their free, members only networking events connect participants with female executives in the Philadelphia area. Additionally, all members receive access to their online member directory. Members can also contribute to the PWR articles and blog posts, and the group’s exclusive PWR events are offered at a discounted rate.

Dues are $149.50 a year.

Network for Women With Careers in Technology Philadelphia

Women in tech looking to learn more about IT and connect with both male and female area tech leaders should be sure to check out this networking group. Members of the Network for Women with Careers in Technology get access to monthly membership dinners, networking lunches, and yearly events, such as their Trends in IT panel and their Women Executive Dinner. The group also runs a mentorship program for female university students interested in pursuing a career in tech.  

Yearly dues are $85. Young professionals between the ages of 20 and 25 can receive a discounted rate of $40 a year.

Elevate Network Philadelphia

Members of this global women’s networking group gain discounted tickets to multiple monthly events hosted by the Philadelphia chapter. These events include their bi-monthly Coffee, Conversations, and Connections series. Co-hosted by The Walnut Club and FemCity, these talks offer members the opportunity to connect with local women and meet people in their field. Elevate also hosts an annual Mobilize Women Summit for their members.

Elevate features several different membership levels and prices vary by area. For more information about how to apply, click here.

Philadelphia Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs

AWE offers members access to a pitch development program, monthly founder’s roundtable discussions, networking events, and a peer mentorship program. The founder’s roundtable discussions focus on advice for how to start and grow a business. The group also gives two yearly awards to honor leaders who have shown a dedication to advancing female leadership and those who have changed the direction of female entrepreneurship.

The Philadelphia Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs offers several different membership rates ranging from $100-$350 yearly. These rates include options for employers, individual professionals, and young entrepreneurs.

Healthcare Business Women’s Association

HBA offers its members access to local one-time educational classes, mentoring services, volunteer opportunities, daylong workshops, and a career conversations webinar series. The association also hosts an annual conference and an awards lunch where a “woman of the year” and “rising star” are awarded. Members also gain access to their online member directory.

Yearly dues are $225 for the first year and $175 for renewing members. Young professionals are eligible for $99 discount each year. If your company partners with HBA, you may be eligible for further discounts. Click here for more information.  

Brazen Global Philadelphia

Members of this global networking group have the opportunity to attend networking events and roundtables and monthly one-on-one meetings with legal, accounting, marketing, and IT experts. Brazen also offers members the opportunity to join Growth Groups. Made up of seven to nine female entrepreneurs, these groups meet monthly to provide opportunities for support, advice, and mentorship.

Membership is offered at monthly rates of $10, $19.88, or $49. Each price point includes a one-time registration fee that ranges from $40-$60.

Women’s Business Development Center

The Women’s Business Development Center offers a 10-week entrepreneurial training program, numerous classes, a business growth plan evaluation program, and weekly Jumpstart events that focus on helping women make plans to start and grow their businesses. In addition to these opportunities, they host an annual “Just Desserts” fundraiser which honors women business leaders in Philadelphia and includes a networking opportunity.

There is no fee to join and Women’s Business Development Center provides initial consultations free of charge to all women. Workshop prices vary and need-based financial assistance is available.  

FemCity Philadelphia

FemCity members enjoy weekly podcast and YouTube classes, a monthly masterclass on topics like developing your personal strengths, goal setting, and collaborating, and local business workshops. FemCity Philly also partners with The Walnut Club and Elevate Network Philly to host the bi-monthly networking event Coffee, Conversations, and Connections. Members also gain access to the FemCity business directory which contains contact information for employers from around the country and within the Philadelphia region.

FemCity offers a limited, free membership option and a $197 per year business membership option.  

National Association of Women Business Owners South Jersey Chapter

Members of NAWBO gain access to multiple educational and networking events each month and can attend the annual Beyond the Glass Ceiling Gala which offers networking opportunities and honors local women in business. Members are also eligible to join the NAWBO board and can help plan, organize, and lead various local events. Additionally, since NAWBO is a national organization, members of the South Jersey chapter receive member discounts if they’re interested in attending events held by chapters in other states.

Monthly membership fees are between $29.95 and $39.95. Members get a slight discount if they pay for the full year at once.