In many ways, networking was simpler before computers and the Internet. We met like-minded people face to face, and job hunting involved a personal exchange with a recruiter. Remember paper resumes? We joined interest groups and shared insights in person.
Now the world has changed, and information is shared mostly online. Since many women over 60 are still working, either by choice or necessity, it is essential that we understand how to use the available networking tools.
The good news is that there are many online networking groups for women over 60. Whether you are looking for a job, seeking a book or writing club or just want to meet other people, here are 6 useful networking groups for women over 60.
LinkedIn – The World’s Largest Professional Network
With over 756 million members, LinkedIn is the biggest social network for professionals. Don’t let the word “professional” put you off. It is true that many people use LinkedIn to create their online resume and network for jobs. It also offers hundreds of groups with interests ranging from photography to food blogging and entrepreneurship.
LinkedIn is an online tool, but when you have hundreds of people interested in the same things as you, the conversation and experience in the groups are amazing.
You can search for LinkedIn groups in your areas of interest. Some of my favorites are Project Eve, 85 Broads, and Women in Photography. You can also stay in touch with colleagues and classmates and get reminders of their birthdays and new projects they are working on.
Meetup – Neighbors Getting Together to Learn Something
If you would rather network in person and make new friends, Meetup is a good option to consider. It is the world’s largest network of local groups with over 49 million members.
You can search one of the thousands of local groups already meeting or create your own. Just go to Meetup and fill in a simple form.
It is possible to set any criteria, so, you can gather a small or large group who are passionate about something specific. If you are interested in visiting museums, for example, you can call your group “Women Who Love Museums in (your city).” Or you can join an existing group.
Small groups can meet in cafes or parks, or movie theatres. It is one of the best networking groups for women over 60 if you want to get together in person locally. You can go here to see examples of Meetup women’s groups already organized.
Seattle Midlife Reflection for Women
Fun, Feisty and Over Fifty – Pleasanton, California
Sensational Sixties Social Club – Perth, Australia
Hong Kong Golden Girls – Hong Kong
Happy Gatherings in Birmingham – England
NOTE: With the pandemic still on our heels, it’s wise to take necessary precautions when meeting in person. Meetup now has many virtual meetings and online events on its website.
Senior Chatters – Build Genuine, Worldwide Friendships with Over-50s
Senior Chatters is an online community of people over 50 who gather to chat virtually, play games, listen to music, and video chat. More of us have been confined to our homes since 2020 and we are being more cautious when venturing out to meet new people. Senior Chatters is an excellent alternative to when we can’t meet in person.
Ellevate Network – a Global Network of Over 30,000 Trailblazing Women
Ellevate Network is a professional women’s networking organization committed to women who are interested in work and entrepreneurship issues. They have members in 130 countries and run 37 professional chapters around the world.
The main goal is to provide support for women who are still working or retired from business and who want to stay connected with higher education and skills development.
Their LinkedIn group is full of fascinating women who have a passion for supporting women of all ages in business pursuits. In my view, it is one of the most useful online networking groups for women of all ages.
Red Hat Society – Women Who Meet for Tea Wearing Red Hats
The Red Hat Society has been around for a few years! You often will see a group of older women wearing their distinctive red hats and gloves in coffee shops and meeting places around the world. They attract women over 50 from all walks of life.
The Red Hats have a simple mission to embrace old age with frivolity. They say, “silliness is the comedy relief of life and since we are all in it together, we might as well go for the gusto together.”
Underneath the fun and games, they believe that older women should stand by each other and embrace whatever is coming next in life. This site is definitely not for everyone, but if you consider yourself a bit quirky, give it a try.
University of Third Age – Creative and Leisure Opportunities for Retired People
The University of the Third Age (U3A) is a unique organization providing online education opportunities for retired and semi-retired people. Their goal is to get people together and promote a passion for lifelong learning.
They offer courses not for educational qualification but to celebrate the sheer joy of discovery and learning! As they say, “Members share their skills and life experiences: the learners teach and the teachers learn, and there is no distinction between them.”
It is a great way to network with people in person as well as online. They hold regular conferences and events. The U3A movement is well established in the United Kingdom, but there are groups all around the world.
Where do you network? Do you prefer meeting people in real life or communicating online? Have you found any specific networking groups for women over 60? Please share your favorites in the comments below!
Watch John Tarnoff explain that personal development shouldn’t stop after 60: