Networking with the Santiago professional association for women

One of the many advantages of living in Santiago is its vibrant expat community. Websites like Internations and Meetup at your fingertips make accessing that community and finding like-minded people to connect with easier than downing your first pisco sour. But what about when it comes to keeping your career alive?

photo by Sarah Walker
photo by Sarah Walker

One networking group making waves in the expat community is a professional organisation for women, the Santiago International Professional Women’s Association (IPWA). The organisation holds events on a range of personal and professional development topics hosted by speakers from all over the world. It doesn't matter why they moved or for how long, IPWA helps women to make connections and keep developing professionally in their new home.

photo by Sarah Walker
photo by Sarah Walker

I got chatting to a few newcomers and long-standing members of IPWA at its recent social event over a chilled glass of wine and the backdrop of another spectacular Santiago sunset. “IPWA was exactly the kind of network I’ve been looking for as a newcomer to Santiago”, said Haley Robinson, attending the mixer as her first IPWA event. “I came to Santiago to work in the startup space and am looking for conversations to give me insight about that ecosystem. In IPWA I see people willing to work together and willing to help each other out.”

The organisation began in 2012 and continues to grow. “We started off as a really small group, and now we have over 60 people attending our events,” IPWA Chair Marian Hakze told me enthusiastically. The fact that the events are held in English hasn’t put Chilean women off either. Marian mentioned that many come to practice their English and build connections outside of their traditional circles of friends, family and co-workers. "The diversity of our community is what really makes IPWA the networking opportunity we strive to be. Chilean women especially can gain international contacts that may prove useful in an increasingly global professional marketplace."

photo by Sarah Walker
photo by Sarah Walker

IPWA's next move is to build alliances with Chilean organisations that share the same mission and vision; working to connect and develop professionally-minded international women living in Santiago. In a society where having the right connection can be the cincher to finding the job of your dreams, IPWA is not an organisation to be overlooked.

Additional Information:
Events usually take place from 7:30 p.m. on the last Wednesday of every month at the Maison de France in Las Condes.
Metro El Golf

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