Lately, we’ve been looking at online forums for women, asking: Where do women gather (besides Catalytic Women) to engage intellectually with like-minded women? Let’s face it. Women haven’t led industry for centuries like men, and we’re still building those networks. Which leads me to some resources we’ve found—and I hope you’ll share them with women colleagues, clients and friends.
Online Communities of Smart Women
- No Country for Young Women is a multimedia project of interviews with women across generations, nationalities and professions, celebrating professional women and providing real role models who inspire and catalyze change in younger generations.Vitamin W offers a daily dose of women’s news, philanthropy and business.
- Go Girl Finance helps women gain confidence in dealing with money, offering articles, resources and online Q&A. LearnVest encourages women to be financially fierce! Several major banks have created personal financial websites for women, including Citi’s Women & Co. and Beyond Today by Wells Fargo.
- Many online communities support women business leaders, including: 85 Broads, a global network founded by Goldman Sachs alumnae and named for their HQ address; The Glass Hammer, which shares resources to inform, empower and inspire women executives in finance, law, technology and big business; and Watermark (formerly the Forum For Women Entrepreneurs and Executives), a membership organization that gathers Silicon Valley executive women who’ve risen to the top of their fields and are changing the landscapes of business, education, government, and society as a whole. The Forum for Women Entrepreneurs is active in Canada.
- A few are global. WomenCentric is a global directory and connection hub for busy working women (think: LinkedIn for women). W.I.N. (Women’s International Networking) inspires women worldwide through online forums and an annual conference—wherever women are working on improving their businesses, their lives, and the lives of others. The Next Women business magazine hosts online discussions and gathers businesswomen at events across Europe.
- Some are industry-specific, like 100 Women in Hedge Funds, and the Financial Women’s Associations of New York and San Francisco.
- Others gather women entrepreneurs. Project Eve promotes, supports and connects by allowing members to showcase their expertise in content for blogs and forums. Count Me In is a nonprofit provider of resources, business education and community support for women entrepreneurs seeking to grow micro businesses to million dollar enterprises. NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) and Professional Businesswomen of California are national and regional forums, respectively.
- Astia funds growth and leadership for exceptional entrepreneurs as a community of men and women dedicated to the success of women-led, high-growth ventures.
- Several support women in technology, including the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, WITI (Women in Technology International) and Women 2.0.
- Other forums focus on advancing women’s leadership in the boardroom, such as 20% by 2020 (sadly women’s corporate representation is less than 17% now), Boardroom Bound, ION, Thirty Percent Coalition and Women in the Boardroom. Catalyst supports gender equity in business.
- In this week of our California primary, I’d be remiss in not giving a shout out to communities promoting women in elected office, such as Emerge America and Emily’s List.
And, of course, our very favorite—Catalytic Women.