Huffpost UK Lifestyle
Brogan Driscoll Headshot

The Other Club: An Exclusive Club For Women (Well Men Can Come Too, But Only If Escorted)

Posted: Updated:

There are more than 8.17m people living in London, with a pretty even split between men and women.

But it is only now, after years upon years of men-only clubs, that the city welcomes first female-led club for professional women.

Let that sink in for a moment. And let us remind you that it's 2013.

the other club

The Other Club is a space for women to come together in both a professional and playful capacity - to learn from each other, network and have a laugh with a gin and tonic or two.

The club will host regular talks and debates, featuring a cross-section of those relevant to modern women - from topless feminists FEMEN to Playboy Bunnies, Liz Jones to Mary Beard.

We caught up with the co-founders, journalists Joy Lo Dico and Katie Glass, who aren't content with just smashing the glass ceiling but want women to gather together under a roof of our own.

How did you come up with the idea for The Other Club?

We’d talked about a women’s club on and off but it really got going when, one day, we invited around a dozen women journalists, some we knew, some who we admired from afar, to a supper.

It seemed to be a success, but just to check our hangovers hadn’t deceived us, we held another. That also seemed to be a success.

And then we mentioned it to people working in other professions who went – 'ooh, we want to go to a supper too'. So we thought we’d expand the idea and find a space to hold the suppers in together with a range of events.

How did it develop from idea to reality?

After defining the premise, we got the premises. And then we worked the hell out of each other - on design, events, furnishings, boring admin. But it had a natural momentum from day one and almost everyone we approached was so enthusiastic it became easy(ish).

What does the club offer that isn't around already?

A space in which professional women are in the majority. In the workplace, we average around 30%, and often in clubs we are outnumbered. Many women we know are really passionate about their professional lives, so we want to find a way of introducing them to others and help them get talking, sharing ideas and having a laugh.

Why do you think there is nothing of this kind already?

No idea. But the time is right and, as part of our jobs as journalists, we come across people and ideas from all walks of life so we are pretty well-placed to bring them together.

The club is open to mid-November, but the problems The Other Club addresses won't go away that quickly. Are there plans to expand?

If it’s a success, we will look at what do next – a men’s club maybe? (Joking!)

How did you plan the event the schedule?

The schedule is a mix of our interests. Katie doesn't watch telly so Mary Beard didn’t make her eyes light up. Joy said “Who’s VV Brown?” But having introduced each other to fields we didn’t know, we thought the club could take a range of interests within it. And it reflects the fact that women aren’t homogenous – there are all sorts of different things that make us tick.

Are men invited?

Only Slut Night is a restricted event because the idea is to have an open conversation about the concepts of sluts and women’s sexuality. We thought it’d make it easier for some women to be open and honest in that environment.

Men are welcome to come to all the other events, and indeed can become members. We just ask that they come with a woman, to introduce her to the Club.

What would you say to someone who criticised the club for being limited in its reach?

That it is a lazy criticism. You can come from any class or place to be a hard-working women in London. It's not about backgrounds - it's about what you do.

And, following on from last point, how can you spread the message?

We’ve found this amazing thing called Twitter. You should try it.

The Other Club is open from October to end of November 2013. Find them on Facebook and Twitter.