“I know many of you may roll your eyes thinking yeah – “women’s club”. It is all about socialising – lunches, coffees, events and such. But, for me, it was so much more…”
I arrived in Thailand just over three years ago and the American Women’s Club (AWC) was one of my first connections after getting the kids settled in school. I remember making my way to the Sheraton Grand Sukhumvit at the Asok BTS to join their weekly coffee on Monday mornings from 10:00 to 11:30. How kind the ladies were to greet me with a friendly smile and provide many words of wisdom on getting to know the city I now call home.
I know many of you may roll your eyes thinking yeah – “women’s club”. It is all about socialising – lunches, coffees, events and such. But, for me, it was so much more. I found an area for which I could direct my free time and business skills for the benefit of others. It is not a paid position, but not any less valuable to those ladies arriving in Bangkok and benefiting from a club to help them settle in to a new city and life. These clubs would not exist without the dedication of a small group of members providing the management of the clubs for all. Not only do these clubs help their members, but they also have a strong philanthropic connection with the Thai community.
Prior to becoming a “trailing spouse”, I worked full time, so I needed a purpose for which I could challenge my brain and fill some of my time. I jumped into AWC with both feet. First, I was the Treasurer, then Vice President and now for the past year I have been the President. I cannot say that I was “cut out” for the role of President, as I prefer to be in the background, but I found a new part of myself. One where I could put myself out front and be comfortable. This whole expat experience is one where there is constant personal development and I think that is why I enjoy it so much . . . well most days.
Sadly, my time in Bangkok and being part of the AWC is coming to an end as my family prepares to move to our next adventure in Tokyo. However, I can look back on my time as extremely fulfilling and I have made lifelong friends in the process. As I see growth in my children, I too have grown, thanks to the opportunity these women’s clubs have allowed me.
On a separate note, I’d like to inform all those who have used the AWC Thrift Shop on Sukhumvit Soi 38 that we have closed. As part of my final work with AWC, we have divested ourselves of our clubhouse and thrift shop and have moved to a co-working space format. This will reduce the burden on the club’s resources and allow us to focus on our members and our AWC Scholarship programme. AWC has partnered with Mint Work Lounge to provide our physical presence, as required by Thai regulations, but also to collaborate with them and their other shared work space clients. We may be one of the oldest women’s clubs in Bangkok, but we’re utilising the most current form of business networking!
by Lauri Barrett,
American Women’s Club of Thailand President Women’s Clubs in Bangkok: American Women’s Club of Thailand – awcthailand.org
Australian New Zealand Women’s Group – anzwg-bangkok.org
Bangkok Mothers and Babies (Bambi) – bambiweb.org
Bangkok Network of Women – bnow.org
British Women’s Group – bwgbangkok.com
Club Canada Thailand – clubcanadathailand.com
Danish Women’s Group in Bangkok – dwn-thailand.com
Expat Supporting Those in Need – ESTIN – FB Group
Hong Kong Ladies Group Thailand – FB Group
International Women’s Club of Thailand – iwcthailand.org
Nonthaburi Neighborhood Reach – NNR – FB Group
Pattaya International Ladies Club – pilc-pattaya.com
Rayong Ladies Circle – rayongladiescircle.com
Samutprakarn International Ladies Club – silcbangkok.com
Soroptimists International – sibangkok.org
United Nations Women’s Club – unwcthailand.org