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A Growing Crop of Female Versions of the Old Boy’s Club Make Waves Online

From T. Swift's smoking hot girl army to Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's whip-smart comic partnership, to Zooey Deschanel, Molly McAleer, and Sophia Rossi's infectious Hello Giggles girl-power lifestyle hub, female friendship-based collaborations are nothing new. What is new is the increasing number of collaboration-based opportunities that female professionals now have that can further their careers and actually put cash in the bank. A growing crop of increasingly specialized, made-for-women-by-women virtual communities like CodeChix and The Li.st offer opportunities that range from job referrals to speaking gigs to potential investors. Read on for a round-up of veterans and newcomers both big and small.

From T. Swift’s smoking hot girl army to Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s whip-smart comic partnership, to Zooey Deschanel, Molly McAleer, and Sophia Rossi’s infectious Hello Giggles girl-power lifestyle hub, female friendship-based collaborations are nothing new. What is new is the increasing number of collaboration-based opportunities that female professionals now have that can further their careers and actually put cash in the bank. A growing crop of increasingly specialized, made-for-women-by-women virtual communities like CodeChix offer opportunities that range from job referrals to speaking gigs to potential investors. Read on for a round-up of veterans and newcomers both big and small.

(Photo Credit: JD Hancock/Flickr)

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The CLUB

A collective of women leaders in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area that aims to help women further their careers in a variety of ways. Along with mentorship programs and monthly workshops, outside companies in need of a new CEO, CIO, CTO, General Counsel, or Director often tap The CLUB for potential hires. Three members were included in The Silicon Valley Business Journal’s 2015 “Women of Influence” list.

Founder: Annie Rogaski, a founding partner of California-based firm HIPLegal LLP, with the help of four co-founders (The CLUB’s original board of directors).

Around since: October of 2012, following a year of planning. 

Membership: Application-based, at a cost of $250 per member per year. The organization receives around 12-15 applications per month, and members are chosen by a committee of existing CLUB members, who vote bi-weekly. The CLUB has roughly 200 members representing a cross section of positions and industries, including business, not-for-profit, government, academia, law, and tech.

TheLi.st

An online community and list.serv fueled by the premise that “there is a lot of money to be made form taking women seriously and that a rising tide lifts all boats.” Created by writers and entrepreneurs Rachel Sklar and Glynnis McNicol, The Li.st aims to connect women across multiple industries and generations by passing along job, investment, and speaking gig opportunities through an invite-only list serv. The member base consists of around 500 “dynamic, connected, powerful” female professionals in media, technology, business, politics, academia, and the arts.

Founders: Rachel Sklar and Glynnis McNicol 

Around since: 2012

Membership: Invitation-based. Current members include SheFinds Media CEO Michelle Madhok, Chief Guggenheim Curator Nancy Spector, Marie Claire Senior Features Editor Whitney Joiner, Vox Media developer Alisha Ramos, Microsoft Entrepreneur-In-Residence Tereza Nemessanyi, Weber Shandwick Executive VP Katie Welch, and Washington Post columnist Anna Holmes. (Newsletter sign-up is all-inclusive.)

CodeChix

A San Jose-based non-profit for led by female developers who provide a “non-alpha” support system for female coders and engineers of all skill levels, through a combination of online resources and in-person events and workshops, including hacking sessions and tech talks. 

CodeChix places more of an emphasis on in-person networking than most of the other female-only communities on our list and the group has chapters in the Seattle/Redmond and Madison/Milwaukee areas in addition to the San Francisco Bay Area. 

“Whether you’ve been working with tech for several years, or have never written a single line of code, we welcome you! Our members are at all skill levels. Come join us and let’s learn and create some cool new software and apps! Or just hang out and soak in the cool, techie environment with some awesome women!”

Founder: Rupa Dachere

Around since: 2009

Membership: Free. Open to female programmers, developers, hackers, and designers, as well as, according to the CodeChix website, female “thinkers, putterers, engineers, scientists, open source goddesses, gadget freaks, all kinds of geeks, techies-into-pretty-much-anything, and laid back and cool techy chicks…” (Some programming is also open to “supportive male developers.”)

Glassbreakers

“A Glassbreaker is anyone who believes in the social, political and economical equality of the sexes,” according to the start-up’s manifesto. Essentially a professional and exclusively female version of an online dating site, the “gender-gated” peer mentorship program uses LinkedIn data for an algorithm that connects members based on shared career goals in order to share contacts, advice, and opportunities.

Founders: Lauren Mosenthal and Eileen Carey 

Around since: 2015

Membership: Via LinkedIn. Free, all-female, tech-focused.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you belong to a female-only networking group? If so, how has it impacted your career? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.


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