Debbie opens first female-only private members club

Friday 25 May 2018

The first female-only private members club in the UK has been opened in London by entrepreneur Debbie Wosskow (OG92) to provide working women with an oasis where they can ‘create’, ‘collaborate’ and ‘thrive’ – and ultimately – boost their careers

The AllBright, which opened its doors in Bloomsbury on International Women’s Day in March, is already attracting female entrepreneurs, executives, creatives, and consultants from a wide range of industries.

The idea behind the club is to offer professional women space where they can work, hold meetings and socialise while also enjoying the benefits of a programme of events, talks, exhibitions, debates and networking.

Debbie, the ex-CEO of the home-sharing platform Love Home Swap, and her business partner Anna Jones, the former CEO of Hearst Magazines UK, took their inspiration from the Bloomsbury-based author Virginia Woolf who wrote in 1929: “A woman must have money and a room of her own.”

The women believe that, almost a century later, economic independence and space to create remain essential to financial success. By opening their women-only members club they are offering women the support and camaraderie in their professional lives which have been available to men for centuries through their gentleman’s clubs and old-boy networks.

The five-storey Georgian townhouse features meeting rooms, a restaurant and a cocktail bar as well as a library, beauty bar and fitness area.

Already 800 members have joined from all different walks of life and sectors, from art to science and CEOs to entrepreneurs and there is currently a waiting list. High profile members include actors Naomie Harris, Tara Fitzgerald and Ruth Wilson, Mobo awards founder Kanya King, businesswoman Martha Lane Fox and global health campaigner Sarah Brown.

Debbie said: “In the three months since we opened The AllBright, the club has become a Mecca for amazing women to meet, connect and build their networks. The feedback we have had from our members and the demand from women across London has led us to develop our second site to open early in 2019.”

There are also plans to make the AllBright accessible to women outside of London through the AllBright Academy and FoundHER Festival.

From summer, the AllBright Academy will offer thousands of free places on a new 10-week online programme for all working women across the UK. Focusing on topics such as confidence, resilience and having impact, the programme will be supported by regional meet-ups to provide support and community after the course finishes.

FoundHER is a five-day celebration including events, talks and workshops covering topics such as careers, modern feminism and philanthropy, politics and current affairs, health and wellbeing, with live entertainment and networking opportunities. The festival will kick off in London on the 3, 4 and 5 July before travelling to Manchester on 10 July and its final destination in Glasgow on 12 July.

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