Recently, I was browsing a thread for an article, and a woman posted requesting leads for a networking group dedicated to working women in STEM. A mansplainer piped up with the inevitable question that makes me want to gouge my eyes out every time I read it:
“Why does it have to be just for women?”
It’s simple, really: women need specific resources in business (tech, especially) because they’ve gone without them for so long. Now, having missed out on the same opportunities as men for centuries, we’re having to work double time to get noticed in the talent pool, taken seriously in our fields, and to get. that. seat. at. the. table.
Why do women need resources for female professionals? Because we've gone without them for so long.
Men are 85 percent more likely than women to be VPs or C-suite execs by mid-career. They’re also more likely to hold jobs in high-paying industries like tech. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women held only 26 percent of the approximately 4 million computing-related occupations in the U.S. in 2013.
Let’s be frank: these days, it’s tough out there for a woman. Women are still making less than men, even when they do the same jobs. The controlled gender pay gap of 98 cents on the dollar may be smaller than the figures you generally hear when we compare the earnings of all men to all women, but that’s still not gender equity. Any gap means that men and women are not being paid the same rate for the same work.
I fought the urge to type, “because we don’t want to hang out with you” to the internet troll, and instead turned my efforts to tracking down a handful of stellar career resources for professional women.
Ladies Get Paid is a national network of women (united by Slack) dedicated to helping women get paid what they deserve. Started by Claire Wasserman just over a year ago, the group is small but mighty, and the 6,000+ female members regularly convene across the country for talks, town halls, networking events, and happy hours. And as someone who pipes up in the Slack group on a daily basis, I can attest the group’s transformative power. Any woman seeking advice on salary negotiation, job leads, support, or even insight into what they should be making should stop by and say hello.
She Negotiates is a female-led consulting, coaching, and group training platform designed to generate more money, support, and opportunity for women in the workplace. Additionally, their resources focus on honing confidence and happiness among female professionals. Services are geared toward individuals and companies, and span everything from one-on-one business consulting to group workshops and training sessions on topics like equality in the workplace, negotiating, and storytelling.
Ever thought about learning how to code? Girl Develop It might be the break you’ve been looking for. As a nonprofit dedicated to help women learn programming software development, Girl Develop It shines as an affordable, manageable, and judgment-free opportunity for women interested in programming. And truth be told: Girl Develop It is a godsend for women — coders or not. Having coding and programming in your tool belt only helps you stand out as an applicant, and adds an extra layer of expertise to nearly any role these days.
4. Binders Facebook Groups
(On Facebook; request to join)
For writers, content creators, and communications professionals, the binders groups on Facebook are chock-full of opportunities to pitch stories and network. For women looking to break into publishing or expand their list of publications, opportunities abound in the binders groups, with specific camps for writers in food, digital, journalism, PR, and more.
5. Tech Ladies
A Facebook group made up over 10,000 women in tech, Tech Ladies is all about connecting women in the STEM space. Their job board is full of opportunities in the industry, and their mission is focused on helping smart, capable women land jobs in tech. Browse the Facebook group for job leads, industry trends, thought-leadership threads, and information sharing. The organization has chapters and groups in 56 cities across the U.S. and prides itself on being a diverse, judgment-free zone for women of all backgrounds.
As one of the largest professional networking organizations dedicated to women in programming, Women Who Code connects female programmers from all over the world with job opportunities, career training programs, placement services, learning and leadership opportunities, and a worldwide group of female tech professionals. WWC also organizes meet-ups and mentor programs for female coders in major cities across the U.S., and virtual opportunities, as well.
Tell Us What You Think
Do you have a group to add to this list? Tell us about it in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.