Women’s History Month is celebrated annually in the United States to recognize women’s contributions to history, culture and society. Since 1987, throughout the month of March, events are planned around a theme selected each year by the National Women’s History Project. The NWHP places an emphasis on positive role models and knowing about historical women.
With contemporary women making a positive difference in today’s world, history is always in the making. Recognizing the achievements of women–not only what they have done in the past but are doing right now–helps the development of self-respect in girls and young women, and provides them with new opportunities.
Ten years ago, women’s groups printed newsletters and magazines to facilitate networking and communication. Now, through Facebook and web sites, groups for professional women connect, coordinate and communicate. Most groups hold meetings to build positive relationships, inspire personal and professional growth, educate, motivate and link female professionals and women business owners. They may have different specific focuses, but these groups of women are all active in the community and are committed to advancing the success of working women on every level. Many of these organizations are non-profits, devoted to raising funds in order to award scholarships to young women seeking professional growth. Many entities are structured with a national organization that coordinates with local chapters or editions.
Take Back the Night: Together We Empower
Curtis Hixon Park
700 North Ashley Drive
Tampa, FL 33602
Date: Sunday, April 29, 2012
Hours: 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
On April 28, 2012, the Sexual Violence Task Force of Tampa Bay will be hosting a march to speak out against violence toward women. The National Organization for Women (NOW) is the mother of all women’s organizations and boasts the largest organization of feminist activists in the U.S. Founded in 1966, NOW has always worked toward the goal of bringing about equality for all women. They take action on a variety of issues, such as eliminating discrimination and harassment in the workplace and in schools, reproductive rights, ending all forms of violence against women and eradicating racism, sexism and homophobia, to promote equality and justice in our society.
Florida residents can get involved by checking out the websites for local chapters. Tampa NOW, Pinellas NOW, West Pinellas NOW, Pasco County NOW, and Sarasota/Manatee NOW are the local chapters you may join.
Another political action group is the non-partisan League of Women Voters, a grassroots organization with chapters in all 50 states, working at the national, state and local levels since 1920 to improve our systems of government and impact public policies through citizen education and advocacy.
NEW Scholarship Luncheon: Network of Executive Women: Tampa Bay
123 South Westshore Blvd, 8th Floor
Tampa, FL 33609
Price: Member – $25.00, Member (Early Registration) – $20.00, Visitor – $30.00
Horus: 11:30 a.m. networking, Program from Noon to 1 pm, Tuesdays, March 13, 2012 and April 10, 2012
Since the formation of NEW in the late 1970s, the visibility, influence, financial success and community involvement of professional women has increased, breaking the barriers previously excluding women from the local power structure, leadership positions and private club membership. The group’s Executive Woman of the Year Awards brings recognition to women who achieve power and influence while also showing commitment to the advancement of women and the community at large. NEW’s scholarship program has awarded financial grants to support furthering the education of local women.
Business & Professional Women of Tampa Meetings
123 South Westshore Blvd., 8th Floor
Tampa, FL 33609
(813) 877-2869 Denise Coburn
Price: RSVP by phone (813) 877-2869 or e-mail Denise Coburn for cost and plan to pay at the door by cash, check, or credit card
Hours: 11:30 am to 1 p.m., Meetings typically held the second Wednesday of each month
- March 14, 2012 Michelle Passoff is an author, consultant and correspondent and will be presenting “Spring Cleaning, a little known and under used Life Management Tool.” The seminar is aimed to increase personal productivity, creativity and vitality.
- April 11, 2012 The Young Careerist Competition recognizes and celebrates the accomplishments of young women and men between the ages of 21 and 35. Participants compete to represent BPW on the local, district and the state level by delivering a prepared 4-minute speech, interviewing with judges and preparing a biographical statement and application.
Business & Professional Women of St. Petersburg-Pinellas Meetings
400 Beach Drive NE
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Cost: $16 for members and $21 for visitors
Hours: General Membership Luncheon Meetings: Networking begins at 11:30 a.m., meeting and lunch from Noon to 1 p.m. monthly on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays
BPW St. Pete-Pinellas is the local chapter of Business and Professional Women/USA. Meetings are open to the public, however reservations must be made prior to the meeting. Founded in 1919, the organization’s goal is to build powerful women, and to achieve equity—equal pay for women for equal work—for all working women through advocacy, education and information.
eWomenNetwork holds member networking luncheons, dinners and even virtual get-togethers, which makes this dynamic group a leader in online social networking. A vast network of female business owners and professionals exchange leads and with other members. Through their directory, coaching and benefits, entrepreneurial women find strength in providing unlimited opportunities to transact business with other women. The philanthropic efforts of the non-profit foundation were recognized for awarding millions of dollars to other deserving non-profits in cash and services.
Tampa Bay Women Speakers Toastmasters Club
Safety Harbor Public Library
101 Second St.
Safety Harbor, FL 34695|
Price: There is a nominal fee to join, guests are welcome
Hours: For monthly meetings, arrive at 6:15 p.m., to meet members; meetings 6:30 pm to 8 pm. Meetings every First and Third Tuesdays, Every Fifth Tuesday, is the Leading Ladies meeting.
In 1984 in Los Angeles, the consensus among many women working in the hospitality field at that time was that, although some women had become successful, women in general were not fully accepted. Several women got together to decide what they could do to change the status quo. Women may join a supportive, positive environment to develop speaking and leadership skills.
NEWH, the Network of Executive Women in Hospitality was founded and over the years, 18 Chapters were added. Florida now has two: The Sunshine Chapter, added in 1996, includes members from the entire top half of Florida, Central Florida and Tampa Bay. The South Florida Chapter followed in 2003. The success of the organization shows in the fact that women have taken more prominent roles in all aspects of hospitality design and management. Through meetings, educational programs, seminars and events, career opportunities have been made available to members, while the women have raised funds to award more than $2 million in scholarships to young people wishing to pursue careers in the hospitality industry.
The Executive Women International – Tampa Bay Chapter holds monthly meetings the second Wednesday of each month. Last year, EWI local chapters and the international organization contributed nearly $400,000 toward scholarships for high school students and philanthropic projects.
The women in these groups share the philosophy that joining is about much more than attending events; it is about building relationships and promoting one another, so that all benefit. More to explore are Working Women Of Tampa Bay, Awesome Women Hub ~ Florida, and Women Helping Women Tampa Bay.
The Tampa Bay Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, founded in 1988 for gender equity and socio-political advancement of progressive women of African descent, may be joined by invitation only.
Skirt! Tampa Bay is a local edition of a national online magazine and vibrant online community, serving Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties. Skirt! is about the personal and professional lives of women. Their feature, SHE`S SO SKIRT! shines a light on the accomplishments of individual women in Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay Women of Action, founded in 2010, is a Facebook meeting place brought to our area from Tampa Bay Good Living Magazine, for women who seek to be informed and involved.
Women’s Resource Centers
Women’s Resource Center of Tampa, Inc.
1017 Kingsway Road
Brandon, Florida 33510
813-661-3696 extension 242
The Women’s Resource Center of Tampa, a non-profit organization, helps families who are experiencing difficulties by providing resources, education and tools for recovery. They seek to stop the deterioration of families by reducing domestic violence, and finding solutions to homelessness, addictions, child abuse, loneliness and hopelessness.
The Women’s Resource Center of Sarasota County, Inc.
340 S. Tuttle Avenue
Sarasota, Florida 34237
The Women’s Resource Center of Sarasota County is a not-for-profit agency founded in 1979 that provides women and their families with life skills training, career planning, and educational scholarships in Sarasota County. For over 30 years, they have helped over 12,000 people, from women with Ph.D.s to women seeking their G.E.D.s. They provide employment services and help with all kinds of needs to support women with skills for independent living.
Sarah Dees is an accomplished artist, writer, educator, and entrepreneur, with over twenty-five years of professional experience. Sarah attended Eckerd College for two years, and graduated with a BFA from Parsons School of Design in New York City. She is a freelance writer in Tampa Bay. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.