It's not all cocktails and chit-chat at the Women in Digital quarterly meetings. While networking is a by-product of this community of like-minded, successful women, the mission of the organization is to support women and help them grow within the ever-changing digital industry. This group focuses on giving these women guidance and mentorship along with a forum for sharing their experiences with one another.
No Men Allowed.
This organization is built on a community of like-minded peers — which to this women-focused group means no members of the opposite sex are allowed in quarterly meetings. The Women in Digital site notes that no men are allowed at the quarterly meetings because “by nature, when faced with challenges, women respond by creating community. This is ours.”
This community meets quarterly in cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and, most recently, Austin. When the opportunity to serve on the Austin Women in Digital board arose, Springbox’s Chief Experience Officer Maria Seaver leapt at the chance to participate in something that so thoroughly resonated with her experience.
Ask and Give.
It sounds like a small gesture, but it is what this community-focused organization is dedicated to — the notion that members can ask for anything, ranging from help with a tricky work situation to advice on how to capitalize on a career-building moment to book suggestions. With the idea that we all have particular strengths that are unique to us, the group also encourages “Gives,” which (you’re probably getting the hang of it now) allow women to mentor other women.
Seaver found this aspect most appealing — the notion of not just networking but lending a hand and helping others progress and succeed. “I thought it was inspiring because it’s about women helping other women,” Seaver said.
Seaver has found it rewarding to be part of an organization where she can provide help and insight to other women while receiving the same in return. She said that she is learning “how to really help people in their careers and, furthermore, getting to hear the challenges that women are experiencing and the stories of how they’ve overcome them.”
Standing Out In The Crowd.
Seaver recalls that as a college undergrad, she was “one of the only women in most of her technology classes.” It can be hard to swallow that women make up only 30% of the tech industry while it has also been noted that more women than men are working with college degrees.
While the tech space is growing immensely, even in our own backyard, some critics say the numbers don’t add up. Women are more qualified than ever to take the bull by the horns and climb the tech ladder. So what’s the hold up and how can women advance more quickly? TechCrunch says social support, namely through groups like Women In Digital, is the way to continue to drive success and keep empowering women to do the same in leadership roles.
This community-focused approach is a very real necessity for women in the tech space. Seaver said, “It’s hard to get places in digital being a woman. This group allows us to talk about how to do that, work to increase the percentage of women in leadership positions and give each other opportunities that maybe we wouldn’t otherwise have had.”
Women In (Working) Digital Now.
Seaver added, “I think Springbox is such a great place for women to work. And we have a lot of women — strong women who aren’t out to do anything but great work. In terms of serving on a board, I felt like I had enough experience at this point to really be additive and I wanted to share that experience more than anything.”