The Nerdy Girls Society

highres_282347082How many times have you found yourself not going to a great event because you didn’t have a friend to go with you? I found myself doing this time and time again, while at the same time finding that many spaces and groups for geeks and nerds were heavily dominated by men. I decided to solve both these problems by forming a meetup group  that provides opportunities for women to attend exciting local events and make new friends. The Nerdy Girls Society is designed to foster continuous learning for women of all ages who are interested in things typically described as “nerdy.” We’re enthusiastic about stuff ranging from science to history, comic cons to lectures, and everything in between.Since October 2012, The Nerdy Girls Society – STL Chapter has grown to over 900 members and offers opportunities to attend both community events and group-designed events. A team of over 20 organizers creates, develops, plans, and hosts events throughout the community. Even more women (and men, as we are open to members of all genders), present at events based on their own expertise. It’s amazing to see the brain trust of women willing to share their knowledge and enthusiasm with the group. The fact that a lot of our members host and present programs maybe speaks more to the talent our group draws, or serves as proof that smart women have a lot to offer.In our annual survey, we find that most women join to make friends, and many of our members are transplants to the area. Our most popular events are book clubs, craft and crabs, dinners out, and other opportunities to make friends who have similar interests. As our members’ interests are broad, our events cover a variety of topics. We have hosted courses on public speaking and entrepreneurship, tours of maker spaces, and conversations about what it means to be a female geek. Many of our events are open to any and all who are interested, but we also offer a Women to Women series designed to create comfortable spaces for women to learn from each other.watching take the leadMany in our group have formed deep and lasting friendships just within the past year. Others have found the confidence in their own knowledge and skill set to volunteer to present a program. Some members have had the opportunity to present programs that tie into their own businesses; these programs have the double benefit of promoting female-owned businesses while offering members a chance to learn something new.We are starting to expand to other cities, including a chapter that will launch in South Florida by May 2014. In the meantime, we are establishing ourselves as a nonprofit. We are looking for help in filing for nonprofit status and starting new chapters. If you’re interested in helping, please email stlnerdygirls@gmail.com. To find out more about The Nerdy Girls Society, visit www.stlnerdygirls.com.