11 Great Women’s Empowerment Workshop Ideas
What is a women’s empowerment workshop? Essentially, it’s an event designed to help women gain confidence, practice self-care, and support each other’s personal or professional success. Whether you’re hosting a multi-day retreat or a break-out group at a conference or convention, these 11 women’s empowerment workshop ideas can be adapted to suit your group’s needs. From games and activities, to guest speakers and presentations, you’ll find plenty of options here to make your women’s empowerment group a success!
1. Be selective — but not exclusive
Before you start planning activities, decide what objectives you want this group to achieve. Is your goal to help women succeed in the workplace — or in higher education? Are you working with college students or entrepreneurs? The focus of your group will depend on the age, goals, and life experience of your participants, so it’s important to have an idea of who will attend.
Because of this, it may be helpful to have an application process or selection criteria for your event. If it’s a closed workshop with a limited number of spaces, ask applicants to submit a short bio or mission statement so you can make sure everyone is on the same page. At the same time, you can avoid excluding people who want to attend by offering a scholarship or discounted tickets to those who can’t afford it.
2. Rent a memorable venue
One of the best ways to make an impact with your event is to host it at a space that can live up to the occasion. Renting a Peerspace venue is among the top women’s empowerment workshop ideas because you’ll find spaces that offer everything from feminine chic to business casual vibes.
Plus, many Peerspace venues come with professional lighting and A/V gear available on-site or to rent from a local vendor. Choose a space that has all of the amenities you need, from a yoga studio with hardwood floors to a modern industrial kitchen. If you can’t find something that you need on-site, call up the Concierge service to see if they can have it delivered.
In fact, you can even design and create your own Peerspace venue, as these two women did when they created the New Women Space in Brooklyn!
3. Host a coding bootcamp
It’s becoming a bit of a cliche, but learning to code is still a great way to empower women to find jobs in tech and related STEM fields. From Women Who Code to the Hackbright Academy’s All Women’s Coding Bootcamp, there are dozens of organizations out there offering coding events in women-only environments. If you want to host your own, just plan your event at a Peerspace venue like this coworking space in Chicago with free Wi-Fi and plenty of desk space.
4. Have a public speaking contest
Public speaking can be difficult for anyone, but it’s especially important for women in business and politics to be able to address a large audience with confidence. Give your participants the chance to practice their skills by hosting a Toastmasters-style public speaking event.
5. Plan a photo or video project
There’s no better way to push back against the male gaze than by taking charge of the camera. Global Girls Media has been empowering female activists and journalists around the world with their women-centric video projects. In the US, the Female Farmer Project documents women working in agriculture to overturn the typical stereotype of the male farmer.
A photo project is an especially great women’s empowerment workshop idea for young people, who may be social media savvy, but not yet familiar with media criticism or gender theory.
6. Host a mini maker faire
Laser cutters, 3-D printers, and other tools can be a lot of fun to use — but they can also be hard to get access to if you aren’t part of a makerspace. Add some hands-on activities to your event by hosting a mini-maker faire at this creative workspace in Berkeley.
7. Plan a multicultural cooking class
With so many female chefs in the media, it may not seem like an industry that women need to be empowered to enter. But for those who don’t fit the image of a celebrity chef, it can still be a challenging industry to break into — particularly for immigrants and women of color. That’s why Across Our Kitchen Tables focuses on empowering women to share their traditional practices and recipes — even if they don’t have a formal background in the culinary industry.
8. Host a memoir-writing activity
Whether your workshop is geared toward experienced bloggers or first-time writers, hosting a memoir-writing exercise is a great way to encourage creativity and explore new ideas. Invite a well-known writer like Cheryl Strayed (author of Wild) to lead your workshop, or come up with your own exercises and share the results of your work in a group feedback session.
9. Head outdoors — or rent a yurt!
You don’t have to hike the Pacific Crest Trail to find inspiration outdoors. Include a short hike during your workshop, or choose a scenic outdoor venue (such as a yurt) to host your entire event. Plan for guided meditations, embodiment exercises, and other wellness activities that combine reflection and relaxation in a natural setting.
10. Attend an equine leadership workshop
Leadership is an important skill to include in any women’s empowerment workshop, but how can you offer new insights that haven’t been explored already? One idea is to include equine assisted coaching (EAC) in your agenda. Although this involves traveling to a farm or ranch, working with horses is a great way to put leadership skills into practice in a hands-on way.
11. Screen a movie
Conclude your women’s empowerment workshop with a screening of an inspiring documentary or movie at a private screening room. Whether it’s a mainstream movie like Wonder Woman, or something a little more subtle, choose a film that will inspire your guests to keep moving toward their goals even after they walk out the door of your workshop.
Choosing the right women’s empowerment ideas can be tricky, as each of your guests will have their own expectations of what the workshop should be. That’s why we’ve tried to find as broad a range of women’s empowerment workshop ideas as possible. Whether you stick to a specific industry or career path, or decide to make your event more open-ended, use these ideas as a guideline to put together the perfect workshop agenda for your group.