Women’s Communities on the Net
State on the Net has an excellent role while, simultaneously, the beginning, means including end product of networking.The area on the Net has an excellent role as, together, the beginning, means and the end output of networking.
A general color of traditional networks for women exists on the Net today: the National Association of Women Business Owners, American Association of University Women, professional organizations such as Women in Communication, to name a rare. But perhaps the most exciting part of the Net is the new populations living produced in cyberspace by and for women with new plans, new groups, new agendas and a focus on communication as a means to achieve their goals: Developing Women is among the pioneers in these methods whose central aim is to support women.
Virtually all women’s sites on the Net support “Take Your Daughter to Work Day,” and many display a pink fabric for breast cancer experience. Site by site, these women’s communities are forming a foundation of a women’s support construction on the web, not just to direct a single issue, but to help women in all their multi-faceted challenges which are quite many than the requests men face.
Advancing Women is one such community, which uses the power of the Net, as communication, networking and information tool, with the compelling program of women investigating the most effective means of improving their personal and career goals.
Advancing Women is based on the premise that women need to network to gain equal access to jobs and advancement in the workplace. Although 50% of the workforce are women, only 5% make it to upper management; women still earn less than men, are stuck in middle management and ghettoized into “women’s” areas of business. Women educators are challenged to make it to the top levels of administration, in part, because of old stereotypes and the pervasiveness of male role models for leadership positions. Exposure and discussion of these important barriers, in itself, do much to start the process of demystifying and deconstructing them. And these are the barriers we must all overcome, to develop women in leadership positions.
Our first task, however, is to foster a sense of community, because that is the catalyst which drives communication and forms the foundation for both networking, and its further development into a support system.
Ideally, a support system requires cohesiveness. A group with common goals can build on a given history, shared experiences. Much women’s history which has not been widely available previously, possibly because it was not thought to be necessary or useful, is now beginning to surface on the Internet. In this sense of being able to deliver so much uncensored information, and also because of its bundled technology, software, and applications, the Internet holds profound implications for how we all learn about our world and ourselves.Changes brought about by greatly increased access to raw data, the speed of transmission, group learning, and collective analysis are new paradigms on the Net, for all of us, particularly women and women’s communities on the Net.
Several of the exciting, pioneering new software programs are related to archaeology, and indeed, digging or drilling for information is also an apt metaphor to describe women’s search for information about themselves and each other. Women’s history and women’s achievements have long been invisible. Only 13% of news articles are about women and are rarely on the front page. Usually, they are found in the women’s section, and next to the pie recipes and social functions. But women on the Net are changing that. Like mining for gold, women search for their history and identity and find nuggets long buried or invisible. Sites like the Feminist Organization proclaim “Teach Women’s History” and provides the tools and knowledge to do so.
Sites like Advancing Women bring women news about themselves. Too much of this news concerns discrimination on the job, or in the military academies or abuse of one type of another. But Advancing Women also focuses on role models, bringing news of outstanding women in leadership positions in politics, business, education. We are analyzing women’s careers and identifying concrete steps, including mentoring and networking, which has helped women succeed. Advancing Women takes a functional approach to career barriers, identifies and networks on the strategy to deconstruct them. Webgrrls focuses on teaching and honing technical skills to use on the Net and creates excitement and a sense of community in young women who wish to design web pages. Community on the Net has a transcendent role as, simultaneously, the beginning, means and the end product of networking.