A missing link in Cromwell’s professional sector has been established, exclusively benefiting women across the area who want to network, share ideas or just meet like-minded people.
Professional Independent Networkers Cromwell – also known as Pinc Ladies – is the work of Keeley Anderson, who saw a need for a group specific to women.
It was her own experience as a mum, wife and businesswoman that made her realise there was a need.
After moving to the area, not knowing anyone, she was told about the town’s regular business breakfast meeting but soon realised it would be impossible to fit it into her busy morning schedule.
That was when she considered establishing another group, where people like herself could meet at a time that was more practical, particularly for busy working mothers.
“I knew Cromwell was full of very talented women who, for lifestyle choices, have ended up here and that’s what we wanted to tap into,” she said.
“I put the feelers out through a Facebook post. I just wanted to get some interest.”
She received about 50 replies – more than she had anticipated.
“I ended up getting so swamped by women who were supporting it.”
Mrs Anderson said many of the responses she received were from women who had just moved to the area, had children, and felt isolated and restricted.
After further research, Mrs Anderson discovered a similar group had been formed by Lynn Manson. It was called the Pink Ladies networking group and ran for a number of years from 2002.
“They used to have fun, awesome events in a fun, positive and meaningful way. I just took it to the next level, with Lynn’s permission, and renamed it.”
Mrs Anderson, a real estate agent, said she wanted to carry on the tradition of helping professional women meet on a regular basis.
“From there it just grew.”
She said many women “wear so many hats”, but Pinc Ladies catered to them specifically in their professional capacities.
The group, which will be launched today, already has 130 members, representing a range of fields from hairdressing to horticulture.
Mrs Anderson hopes all members use the group not just to meet other like-minded women, but to build on their business and/or careers.
“Women shy away from beating their own drum. I think they can do it here with the full support and encouragement of everybody else. It’s [about] networking and putting that into actual practice.”
The group, which is for anyone who identifies as a woman, is specifically for people in the Cromwell area and a person must become a member to benefit.
“That said, I would love to see other branches set up in other towns and then do annual awards to recognise achievements by women in the group,” she said.
“I want the members to see real growth in their business. I want them to collaborate and have creative ways of working together and part of that will be recognising those achievements.”