Great Girls are a network of amazing women of all ages and from all walks of life who connect with each other on a deeper level.
Why Great Girls Network?
So much change is occurring in our world that we are frightened for our children. We are wondering if we can trust our leaders. We are changing the way we view ourselves as women and as citizens. In the midst of all chaos, you can find comfort and reassurance amongst intelligent women who are experiencing the same issues and are presented with the same challenges.
Find your inner voice.
At the Great Girls Network, we connect and build meaningful relationships that:
- enable women to come together in an encouraging and authentic way to lift up and inspire one another
- create a network of women helping women succeed
- encourage women to move beyond their comfort zones and toward more of what they want
- are a catalyst for women to create and nurture collaborative relationships
- enable seasoned women to share their gifts and contributions with others
- help us work through pivotal life transitions
- empower us with an inner strength and voice we never had before
- enable us to build strong and nurturing relationships
Who is an ideal member?
We understand GGN may not be for everyone. The women who enjoy being a part of our group want to have meaningful conversations, meet others they resonate with and have a place to open up and share what is really going on in their lives.
We have a cross-section of careers in both the for profit and non-profit worlds and a span of ages from twenties to seventies. We also believe GGN is a place for women where it is not a requirement to have a “high powered” career. It’s also for women who also choose to stay at home with their families, or who are in transition to finding their next thing, whatever that may be. Joining GGN give you connections with such a variety of women, you will feel inspired just getting to know them!
What will your membership bring?
Your membership helps us build a foundation, the strength to grow, and impacts the life of other women! You may not realize it, but your wisdom is extremely helpful to others when you share your stories, problems and we all work on ways to see things with new eyes. Become a GGN member and experience the benefits for yourself!
A Note from Margery Miller, Founder of GGN
Why did you start GGN?
In November 2013 during a Social Venture Partners event in Dallas, I found myself trying to introduce women I knew to other women they would benefit from knowing. I was running around trying to keep up and realized it was impossible! Just too many women! So I said to my friend, Susan Hoff, a Senior VP of United Way Dallas and a Partner with me in Social Venture Partners Dallas, that we needed to start a Great Girls Network to enable this cross-section of women from non-profits to businesses to get to know each other. She agreed!
We set the first gathering for February 25, 2014 and spread the word through email. 30 women showed up—and we launched.
What was your original vision for the group?
At the moment I spoke to Susan, I saw a vision of 1,000 women gathered in a large space all walking around, talking to people they resonated with. I knew there were at least 1,000 women in the Dallas/Fort Worth area who would benefit from knowing each other—so it seemed really possible! I wasn’t clear yet about what it could lead to. I just knew that women needed help in meeting and connecting with each other. I had a sense of trust that we would learn the value of it as we went along.
What has your vision grown into?
It became clear to me that the first thing women enjoyed was having a way to meet each other. From that, we realized that they wanted more substance to keep coming. We started it with two gatherings a year, early spring and fall. We regularly average 60 to 80 women at our public events.
Questions were surfacing that made it apparent women wanted more—a way to stay connected, a way to learn, a way to grow.
- It was also evident that even though many had their own personal and professional networks, we could enhance them.
- We could also guide young women in how to build a network, and assist women in taking greater advantage of what was actually available to them.
- From these gatherings, we realized that women are yearning for ways to reach beyond their comfort zones, learn how to ask for help, build relationships, help each other.
- We want to break old patterns of competition between women, help them learn that by supporting each other, by helping each other, through mentoring, education and shared experiences, we can all benefit from the greater contributions women can offer the world.
Isn’t the term “Networking” overused and somewhat superficial?
There are many opportunities to superficially network today. Go to a meeting, conference or gathering and pass out business cards and hope someone remembers you. The kind of network we are building is different.
In my life as an entrepreneur, I know I would not be where I am today without a panel of experts, friends and supporters giving me feedback, advice and referrals. It took me years to build that network, and there is nothing superficial about it. When you look at the statistics, the number of women owned businesses is minuscule compared to the number of male owned and/or operated organizations.
It became evident to me that building a valuable, productive network is one of the most important keys to success. I believe the same applies whether you are running a business, working as an employee, building a non-profit or growing a family. Women from all walks of life benefit from a supportive, collaborative network.
And it makes it even more beneficial if we get a sense of meaning and purpose when we get together!
Why did you use the term Girls instead of Women?
I began working in 1967. I’m still working 53 years later. I have no doubt that the Good Ole Boys Network is alive and well today, as it has been for centuries. For some reason, men seem to be able to even dislike each other but still ask for something.
Women don’t do that as easily. So, in a way, it is to be the antitheses of the Good Ole Boys thing. But it actually goes deeper than that.
The powerful woman in me is pretty capable of taking care of business and getting what I need. The girl in me still hides out sometimes. I am an accomplished business woman and coach, however, there are moments when I find myself making up a story that others won’t be willing to help me, that they’re too busy, that I’m not somehow valuable enough in the world to have what I want. I don’t think that part of me is bad, she just needs more encouragement. In Great Girls Network, I get that encouragement!
I still feel like dancing when I hear Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” on the radio. Why can’t working, raising a family, being a responsible member of a community be fun? Why does it have to be hard to be a woman? Why does everyone else’s life look so much easier than the one we’re living?
We think we could all spend less time comparing ourselves to others and instead enjoying the blessings that are available all around us—if only we will wake up and really ask for what we want. And expect to get it!
Is this organization Dallas/FW focused or national in scope? Online communities or local chapters?
We see the GGN concept as one that can spread throughout the world, but we realized that we need to have piloted it locally and created our own presence before we tried to expand anything. In 2019, women from Chicago and Austin came to us for help in starting groups there, so we are launching them in early 2020.
Our vision is that we will grow this organically, meeting needs as they arise and giving women a chance to creatively contribute to the growth, and each group will have its own unique flavor and form.
What are some programs you are offering through GGN?
We held 2 large gatherings in D/FW in 2014, 2015, and 2016. In May, 2017 we added small group meetings (see Programs to learn about our Track Meetings). We currently hold 3 Track meetings each month in DFW.
We call them Track meetings because they sort of follow the tracks that our early surveys showed us women were interested in. In 2019 we added a Monday Morning Magic group for women who aren’t able to attend Wednesday evening sessions, held usually on the 2nd Monday each month.
In 2020 we launched our Focused Track meetings where we take the first Wednesday evening of each month and have a panel of our own members lead conversations on specific topics. For 2020, January started with Bringing Women Along in Business; February focuses on Health and Well-being; March on Career Transitions. You can check our Events calendar to see the topics unfold through the year.
The second Wednesday evening is an open conversation loosely called Growth & Transitions, where you can bring up any issue, problem or whatever you are on fire about and get input, feedback or just some great listeners. We talk about everything from business to personal and back again at these Track meetings and they are completely safe.
The $50 a year membership ensures that your conversations are kept within the group, and it gives us all a sense of commitment to hold sacred the thoughts and feelings of those who are there. Attendance varies from meeting to meeting, but the feeling of safety and respect is the tone of each one. This enables us to build ongoing relationships and count on confidentiality within the meetings.
Only members may attend Track meetings. We hold 3 public gatherings (Spring, Summer and Fall) each year so women can come and meet many of our members and learn more about what we are and what we do.