As you probably know, engaged EAs are disproportionately male. Also, women are more likely to struggle with underconfidence that makes them less happy to engage with your group.
We think that one way of making women feel more comfortable and welcome at your group is to run socials aimed specifically at women.
We've had some success with these in the past, finding that they were generally quite well attended and highly rated by those who did attend.
Note on terminology and inclusivity
- One thing to be clear on is that nobody at the event should challenge people on their gender.
- Instead of running a women's social, you might prefer to run a women and nonbinary people social, or a women and trans people of all genders social (you could call this a 'marginalised genders' social or something else you prefer).
You could write in the event description, and maybe even say at the event itself, that gender presentation is not the same as gender identity, and so you shouldn't worry about who 'looks' like they are welcome.
When we've run these events in the past, we called them 'Women*s socials', and specified that this included nonbinary people, but we now think this probably isn't the best approach.
There's no perfect terminology that everyone agrees on, and so you can use your judgement and your knowledge of the university's norms & culture (and, of course, respond to feedback).
How to run a women's social
Since these are just regular socials with a particular framing, you can pick any of the other kinds of socials you might usually run and run them as a women's social.
Something as simple as choosing a coffee shop to meet at, or a place to eat lunch, can be a great way of running this kind of social.