Business industries are often an isolating place for women, even in a growing city that is thriving with new businesses.
When the opportunity arrived for friends to bring women together and create a community that promotes hard-working, forward-thinking and creative business ideas, the Girl Gang community was quickly formed.
Girl Gang Manchester presents Mean Girls on 11 and 12 March 2016, as part of the Wonder Woman Feminist Festival, tickets are available from their Facebook page.
The sister company to the first community founded in Sheffield by Ellie Ragdale of Handmade Cinema and Vanessa Longley of the Creep Store, Girl Gang Manchester is run by Megan Griffith of Pull Your Finger Out Productions.
The three friends have produced “A creative event series and community promoting creativity, collaboration, confidence and positivity, to help inspire and support women to succeed in life work and society”.
The first event in Manchester is centred on the cult classic movie Mean Girls; with interactive elements from the movie to help broaden the city’s network of creative women in business.
The event held in Sheffield was awarded Best Single Event at the national Cinema For All Awards. Megan told TNT “We were happy to be nominated. We all dressed up in kind of prom dresses and it was just 60-year-old men in fleeces there”.
Originally from the Sheffield and Derbyshire area, Megan has lived in Manchester for 8 years and saw the same issues her friends saw in Sheffield. “Before I released the date [of the event], I reached out to women that I knew to try and make sure it would go ahead. And when I released the date there were so many women getting in contact to get involved”.
The aim of the Girl Gang community is “to put the fun back into being a female in an all-out celebration of womanhood!” and being unapologetically girly is one thing that comes across clearly. They send the message that you can “dance on tables, whip your hair back and forth and sing the words to every single song”, and network as a professional business worker at the same time.
The idea of redefining yourself as more than one label runs throughout the event. There will be a range of different skills workshops, advice stalls from the ‘Mathletes’ mathematical workshop, to the production of ‘Personally Victimised By Regina George’ – written and directed by Manchester branch founder Megan Griffith.
The show uses elements of another activity ‘Reclaim Your Shame’, from earlier on in the event. By making their own version of the movie’s Burn Book, the attendees write down the worst rumours that have been said about them. They then turn it on their heads, in a cathartic release to reject the opinions of others.
Although Girl Gang is a community about empowering women of all ages, it is open to all genders. Men are also invited to get involved to promote the different businesses that are and want to be a part of the community.
A number of tickets have been held back for charities and organisations that are tied to the older communities and different backgrounds.
TNT News Tiffany Cook