FAQ’s

We understand that the idea of a women’s group might be new to you. So, here are the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

What is the mission of Women’s Forum?
Women’s Forum is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to building local communities of women supporting women. Our mission is to create supportive and confidential learning environments for groups of 6-8 women who meet monthly for connection, inspiration and growth.
What makes Women’s Forum unique?
There are many venues for learning in groups, from book clubs and service groups to classrooms and professional associations. Consider what makes wForum special:
  • Unlike groups whose meetings are run by paid professionals, wForum is peer-facilitated.
  • We are not a social club, although strong relationships usually grow out of the shared experience.
  • We are not a therapy group, yet most of us find a good laugh or a few tears to be therapeutic.
  • We are not a business advisory group, yet members share expertise and networks from a wide range of professions and backgrounds.
  • We are not a religious or church group, but our principles and practices nurture a spiritual sensibility.
Women’s Forum is a holistic approach to life-long learning, celebrating womanhood and sisterhood. Groups build a relationship that evolves as its members evolve. In time, the collective wisdom and deep bond of friendship has changed the lives of wForum members.
What are the key reasons why women join wForum?
Certain themes stand out in a wForum conversation such as work-life balance, relationships, parenting, transition and loss, empty nest, money, elderly parents, health and aging and more. Yet these themes are background to the real needs we feel, such as:
  • A yearning for meaningful connection
  • Time to ponder the missing pieces in our lives
  • The opportunity to speak free of judgment, criticism, or advice
  • Encouragement to aspire and grow in new directions
  • To know we’re not alone in our uncertainty
  • Reminders of good people and positive forces at work in our world
  • Playmates for creative self-expression and fun
  • Confidantes who preserve our dignity when life gets messy
  • Advocates for our next chapter, wherever it may take us
Women who have enjoyed the privilege of education and a stable family life have developed an aspirational outlook on life. Life presents challenges and set-backs, yet our generation has learned to look for the opportunities and silver linings. We want healthy relationships and meaningful lives. We want these things for ourselves and we want to make things better for others.
Is wForum a fit for me?
We take great care in launching each wForum, with “fit” being an important and mutual consideration. The first step is to complete our Registration Form so we can learn about your needs and interests. Next we will set up a call to get to know you and address each other’s questions. You want to know what to expect from us and what is expected of you. wForum is a group relationship. Being there for others is an investment of time and energy, yet the payoff is deeply fulfilling. Membership works best for women who enjoy the give-and-take process of building a relationship of substance.
How does peer facilitation work?
Peer-facilitation gives each member a voice and role in the group. Everyone has something of value to offer in the meeting exchange. Even when you have nothing to say, your presence and listening holds a sacred space. In that space, we help each other flourish.
When and where do wForum groups meet?
Groups meet in person and meetings are held once a month for about 3 hours. Members usually rotate hosting in each other’s living room, but private, cozy conference rooms work too. Each group sets its own schedule. A set meeting date, such as 3rd Monday of the month, helps members to commit to a time and plan calendars accordingly.
Do I have to attend every meeting?
We ask that you prioritize your participation in wForum. Sure, you may miss a meeting or two. With regular attendance, the circle is complete and the group gains from all input. It’s best for you if attending wForum meetings feels like a privilege, not a hardship.
Are certain topics taboo?
No topic is taboo as long as the group remains committed to open communication and mutual respect. However, certain topics such as travelogues, politics, and local gossip can diminish the takeaway value of your precious meeting time and are therefore discouraged.
Why is wForum for women only?
Women share a special language and cultural experience. Our biology, psychology and spirituality confer specific gifts for our gender that continue to unfold throughout life. In wForum, we celebrate womanhood and sisterhood, developing a greater appreciation of feminine values and what it means to be an empowered woman.
What are membership dues?
wForum membership is $15/month for a minimum of one year. Membership dues support our non-profit organization in 5 important ways:
  • 22% New Groups – Organizing and guiding new wForum groups through the initial stages of development.
  • 33% Program Development –Sharing learning resources, creating content for members and hosting community events for networking, creative exploration and pure fun.
  • 21% Facilitator Training – The Facilitator Network meets bi-monthly for live calls offering a regular dose of inspiration for practical, creative and spiritual exercises to share your wForum.
  • 19% Infrastructure – Website, newsletters, social media, bookkeeping and business management.
  • 5% Scholarships – To underwrite our educational offer and ensure membership access.
When it’s my turn to serve as Facilitator, will I be supported?
Groups need a go-to person to stay focused and keep the energy flowing in a positive direction. Members take turns serving as facilitator for a one-year period. But the facilitator is not the voice of authority in any group – everyone participates in dialogue and idea exchange. Groups can and do bog down, and that’s why facilitators need a consistent source of support, information and inspiration. Our Facilitator Network provides the necessary support, with bi-monthly conference calls, annual gatherings and personal check-ins to address any concern facing our facilitators. The more problems we solve together, the better we learn.
Looking to join or start a Women’s Forum group?
Start by completing the Member Registration form. We will follow up with you!
Already have a Women’s group?
If your women’s group has been together for years and you are looking to renew your purpose, consider joining Women’s Forum. To build on what you’ve already accomplished as a group, we will begin by getting to know you and how your group functions. You would browse our platform of learning tools and membership resources to consider how wForum can add value to your Women’s Group. Our low-cost membership provides access to the full spectrum of wForum benefits, including the Women’s Forum Handbook and discussion guides, involvement in the Facilitator Network, one-on-one facilitator support, community-wide events and workshops, retreat plans and more. Email Adelaide@wForum.org to introduce yourself and start a conversation!
Can I start my own Women’s Forum Chapter?
What a great question! Currently we have active chapters in Washington and Colorado and are expanding our reach. There is a certain profile to the role of a Chapter President, as described by our Seattle Chapter President (see testimonial below). An ideal Chapter President has done her own personal growth work and wants to make a difference for more women in her community. She has business and leadership skills and while she wants to work, she prefers to work part-time. She knows how to make things happen and to her, community work is fun. Her reward is in the results: fostering a community of women who lift each other up. To learn more about starting a Women’s Forum chapter in your community, contact Adelaide Waters at adelaide@wforum.org. We will do our best to set you up for success.

Testimony from Seattle Chapter President Elizabeth Miller

Over the course of my life, I have gathered women to learn about a variety of topics from parenting to spirituality. In doing so, I discovered that what I am most passionate about is empowering women to discover their greatest teacher…themselves.

In 2012 I formed a small women’s group offering experiences designed to enhance personal growth. When I discovered wForum, it was clear to me that Adelaide’s work offered a sophisticated scaffolding that would strengthen our bonds to last a lifetime. My role as chapter president evolved when I recognized that many women in my Seattle community wanted their own women’s group and I felt they would benefit from knowing of wForum.

Elizabeth miller and her 2 dogs

As Seattle Chapter President my role is tremendously gratifying. It is my honor to have the opportunity to form groups where women have a safe community to rest into themselves, discover their path, and strengthen their inner teacher.

Ensuring the success of our newly formed wForum groups and providing opportunities for more women to join is my primary focus. It is an investment of my time; usually 5-6 hours a month. I am present for questions from facilitators and participate in the Facilitator Network conference calls. I host an annual gathering for existing members and host a second gathering for prospective members. Like the Aspen Chapter, we have grown by word-of-mouth.

I am extremely indebted to Adelaide who is always available to offer her wisdom and resources in support of my work and the health of our Seattle wForum community.