group of women working together in coffee shop (professional development for women and moms in Boston)

I recently had the opportunity, thanks to the generosity of my employer, to attend the Massachusetts Conference for Women alongside 20 of my colleagues. As we were listening to the inspiring speakers, I realized it was my first formal professional development experience since shifting careers two years ago. In my previous industry, I was deeply connected to several professional associations. But since then? I’d been sort of lost. It got me thinking about the variety of virtual and local-to-Boston professional development opportunities available to all moms — and women in general — that you should know about!

Massachusetts Conference for Women

This event is held annually in Boston and hosts more than 9,500 attendees. There are several keynote speakers, breakout sessions, resume reviews, headshot opportunities, and a huge expo featuring women-owned businesses. They are also collaborating outside of Massachusetts for a spring virtual conference with a diverse array of speakers. While it is not specifically for moms, I’ve found the content to be very mom and parent friendly!

North Shore Women Connect

NSWC is a membership-based organization that offers monthly networking, educational, and inspirational events. They are focused on women empowering women, sharing knowledge, and helping each other reach goals. The membership fee is pretty affordable at $155 per year.

South Shore Women’s Business Network

Founded over 30 years ago, SSWBN is the premier networking association south of Boston. They are focused on four main pillars: contacts, coaching, collaboration, and community, and they offer events throughout the year, including an in-person conference. An annual membership is $99 per year, and there are corporate discounts for businesses looking to sponsor multiple members.

Ellevate Network

Ellevate Network is the largest women-focused, Boston-based community of ambitious people making work fulfilling. They offer webinars, coffee talks, mastermind programs, and more. The membership is $40/month with opportunities to opt into more intimate programs if interested.

The Mom Project

The Mom Project is an organization aimed at matching skilled moms with employment opportunities. It includes a vetted, family-friendly job board plus opportunities for skill development, resume reviews, and interview tips. It’s a great resource for moms looking to get back into the workforce or change careers. It is free to join the talent community, and they have tiered memberships for small vs. enterprise businesses to seek candidates.

Hey Mama

Hey Mama is a professional networking group for moms growing careers and families. The membership includes digital resources, community, connections, exclusive events, 1:1 coaching, and more. It is a national organization but offers local meetup opportunities in major cities, including Boston! While there is an entrepreneur lean, I will say as a non-business owner I have found their content helpful and relevant. To join, you submit an application and pay a monthly membership fee if accepted.

Whatever feels like the right fit for you, make sure you are pouring into yourself at least as much as you pour into others. I know it can be a challenge to invest in yourself, but it’s never a bad idea!


 

Colleen Lubin
Colleen Lubin grew up in Arlington, MA and dragged her Yankees-loving New Yorker husband back to the Boston area after years of splitting the difference in Connecticut. After getting her master's degree at UMASS Amherst, she worked for 15 years in higher education across New England. Recently, she made a career change into the Learning & Engagement world within Human Resources. Colleen is most passionate about supporting women and families navigating infertility, pregnancy loss and the postpartum experience. Colleen's most used coping mechanism is laughter, so she utilizes honesty, authenticity, and humor to talk about tough subjects including grief, loss and mental health. Colleen is a mom of two miracles, Liam and Logan, born in 2018 and 2020, and is therefore very tired all the time. When not "momming so hard" you can find her at the beach in York, ME, riding her Peloton, taking a dance class or sleeping whenever humanly possible.