Learn how to get involved with five active women’s organizations that serve the community in a variety of ways, including bringing women together.
Whether you want to give back to the community, call on the government to take action for issues impacting women, connect with others in your field, or just meet other women to connect with over similar interests, there is a women’s group in Westchester for you.
We rounded up five active women’s organizations in the county that are open to women of all ages and backgrounds for this guide on what these organizations do and how you can get involved.
Photo courtesy of Westchester Women’s Agenda
WWA focuses on garnering support for key legislative issues affecting women, pledges support for civic events — like previous advocacy for Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the first woman majority leader of the New York Senate — and supports nonprofit organizations by advocating for county and state budget funds to carry out their various missions. The organization is currently focused on preparing to represent its member nonprofits in presenting their budget issues to the Westchester Board of Legislators.
How to Get Involved: There is no age requirement for membership in WWA. Any nonprofit organization or individual who is concerned about and focused on the status of women in Westchester can join. Annual membership fees are $50 for individual members and $100 for organizations.
The organization’s main meetings are held every first Friday of the month at Volunteer New York! in Tarrytown. Meetings last 90 minutes and feature interactive discussions.
Photo courtesy of Westchester Women’s Agenda
Members work in committees, like the Women of Color Affinity Group. This committee recently collaborated with several community groups and nonprofits in September to launch a free screening of the award-winning Netflix series When They See Us, featuring guest speakers Yuself Salaaam, one of the Exonerated Five, and his mother.
Another one of the organization’s committees produced a report on the status of women with co-sponsorship support from Eileen Fisher, in 2016, which provided data on issues affecting women in Westchester. Since the report came out, WWA has been working to address some of the issues by, for example, conducting workshops on salary negotiation.
Photo courtesy of American ASsociation of University Women
This organization’s mission is “to advance gender equity for women and girls through research, education, and advocacy.” Initiatives of the AAUW include Start Smart workshops, which promote pay equity for women, and WizGirls: Building The Future, an annual opportunity for girls to learn about STEM from local and corporate role models.
How to Get Involved: Anyone who holds an associate or equivalent, baccalaureate or higher is eligible to join this organization. Annual membership dues for new members are $85, but branch meetings are open to nonmembers and are held at the Greenburgh Public Library in Elmsford. Each meeting features a speaker on topics ranging from this month’s talk on protecting women’s rights in New York to next month’s on radiation exposure from wireless technologies.
Photo courtesy of American Association of University Women
Members can join AAUW’s interest groups in areas like bridge, literature, poetry, and art. A newsletter is published monthly to recap branch meetings, activities, projects, and upcoming events.
A good way to get acquainted with the group is to join AAUW for “New Members Coffee” on Saturday, November 2 at a members’ home.
photo courtesy of professional women of westchester
This networking group for women who work and/or live in Westchester is, according to its President, Jamie Imperati, “comprised of small business owners, women part of corporate organizations, women looking to return to the work force, stay at home moms with a side hustle, as well as a few men.” Members range in career fields, from the arts to health and fitness to law.
Some of the group’s monthly events, which average between 60 and 80 members, are dedicated to networking, while others have guest speakers for the second half to help women in business, featuring topics like October’s “What’s Driving Female Business Leaders in Westchester.”
The group holds an annual event on social media, which features local businesses who are using social media successfully. Another annual event is a “Meet the Media” panel, with panelists from television, print, and digital media sharing tips on how businesses can get media coverage.
PHOTO COURTESY OF PROFESSIONAL WOMEN OF WESTCHESTER
How to Get Involved: Annual dues are $69, and an added member benefit, besides the events, is a listing on the group’s membership directory and features on the group’s social media pages.
There are numerous philanthropy opportunities to get involved in with the group. The next one, on November 18, will benefit Feeding Westchester and is a celebration for PWW’s 9th anniversary.
Photo courtesy of Impact 100
This collective giving organization pools $1,000 of each of its members’ $1,100 donations into a grant pool, dedicated to local nonprofits. With a record 352 members in 2019, three $100,000 Transformational Project Grants were donated to non-profits focused on teen cancer, immigrant families, and LGBTQ support, with four smaller grants were made as well.
PHOTO COURTESY OF IMPACT 100
How to Get Involved: The organization is open to woman over the age of 18. Members can get involved simply by casting a vote for which non-profits will receive grants or by partaking in a range of committees and events. Some committees that members can join are in the areas of finance, grant review, and education.
Two events the educational committee orchestrates are an upcoming info session on the basics about nonprofits and a recent session on the ways arts non-profits benefit underserved communities. Impact 100 also holds various social and community service events with grant finalists throughout the year.
The organization is accepting new members from now until December 31 with info sessions available for prospective members.
There are five Junior League chapters in Westchester: Northern, Central, Southern, the Sound, and in the town of Pelham. The organization is focused on community service projects, but hosts workshops for members as well, like the Northern chapter’s upcoming class on photography.
How to get Involved: Women who live or work in the areas each chapter serves are welcome to join. Members generally join the organization as a class in the fall after attending an informational session. This makes the Junior League a great way for women who are new to the area to meet other women, says Kathleen d’Erizans, the Communications Chair of the Northern Westchester chapter.
The focus of the monthly meetings at the Northern chapter, for example, is planning its largest event, a December holiday drive. Members likewise have various opportunities to volunteer with different organizations as a group, like the chapter’s upcoming cleaning project at a local housing organization for people with developmental disabilities.