The Sisterhood that kept me Sane

sonya barlow
3 min readFeb 18, 2019

With one of our major human needs being the need ‘to belong’, defined on many psychology websites as ‘human emotional need to affiliate with and be accepted by members of a group’, it’s no wonder that 2018 saw a surge in communities, networks and organisations tied to the concept of belonging.

There were new networks being created left, right and centre — wherever we looked, a new community hashtag was taking over our social screens; built on similar or same values, trying to hack solutions whilst forming relationships.

And in the midst of it all, it was my own sisterhood that kept me sane.

Like Minded Females was formed from a dark place, with the simple intent to provide a community which didn’t exist — to lead diversity and inclusion initiatives for all — and to encourage new friendships, which soon would became our own cheerleaders.

It was created as both Jui and I felt confused; isolated as corporate zombies and in a -there’s-only-one-seat-on-the-table type of culture. We found ourselves drowned by our day jobs, having difficult conversations with our reflections and no real identity.

Lucky enough, our impulsive yet deeply thought about idea lead us on a journey; forming a community we didn’t expect and encouraging many humans along the way. Yes, we say humans — as our ‘sisterhood’ is for anyone; as long as they have a few emotions.

What are the benefits of a sisterhood, you ask?

  1. Sharing similar values — these groups of people have gathered on similar values and objectives; so you don’t feel alone or lonely in our own thoughts.
  2. Discovering new thinking — each ‘sister’ (which sometimes even includes men funnily enough) brings forth a new way of thinking, unspoken solutions or a fresh energy; important for sharing knowledge, best practise and evolving.
  3. Building Friendships — with 1/10 adults in the UK now feeling lonely, it’s been a concept overlooked; being a part a community provides you with friends for any time of the day. It’s never been simpler to ask for advice, plan a coffee or share motivational memes.

Since ‘founding’ our network in May 18, we’ve held over 16 events to bring people together, engaged with 3,500 people, recognised for a couple of national awards and even dabbled in a few bits with the BBC, Santander, Royal Mail, PWC and the Asian Women Festival. We’ve been fortunate enough to now have a team of 7 in the UK and a sister network in Malaysia. And this was all from a small thought — we were going insane, alone.

Here’s to the sisterhood which has certainly kept me sane — and to the sisterhood which opens it’s arms to anyone who needs a friend.

#sisterhood #business #networking #community #mentalhealth #femalefounders #instagram #london #network #life

Like Minded Females : Founded, Sonya Barlow & Jui Joshi

Instagram @LMF_NETWORK

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sonya barlow

Award Winning Entrepreneur, Author & Traveller, BBC Radio Presenter. sonyabarlowuk