By Mallorie Rosenbluth Social media allows young women to find inspiration and advice around common aspects of their unique lives. For instance, it’s extremely popular for Pinterest users to pin wedding planning ideas. On Twitter, women can tweet health-specific questions to organizations like Go Red For Women.
Yet a crucial part of a young woman’s life isn't always thought to be social-media worthy – her career. Women face unique struggles in any workplace, and they can take part in legitimate mentorship conversations online. Whether you're looking for a mentor, or a mentee, or are simply interested in how social media has changed the way professionals are connecting (especially women), I recommend three resources to help with your career.
The Lean In community - Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead examines women’s roles at work and at home. The author expresses her hope that women achieve their professional goals by being more confident and encouraging each other more. The book has sparked such buzz and debate that Sandberg founded a Lean In community to help grow the community that she envisions for women. At this site (and on their Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn communities), users can seek advice or share experiences and find the resources they need to be part of the movement, including Lean In's three core offering: 1) Community – an exchange of information and ideas powered by social media, 2) Education – a free online library of lectures and learning materials related to topics critical to women's success, and 3) Circles - smaller groups that meet regularly to continue the conversation in more intimate settings.
Levo Mentors - Ask A Question - The Levo League is organization that is self-described as "your career cockpit for the first phase of your professional journey." You’ll find resources and information to navigate through the often tremulous early years of a career. The recently launched mentor program, Ask a Question, is one amazing element. This program (of which I'm lucky enough to be a part of) makes women from a variety of industries available to answer career questions from Gen Y women across the world. Mentors include Warren Buffett, Sheryl Sandberg, and about 80 others who have committed their time to providing advice and insight to a whole generation of women.
LinkedIn's Professional Women's Network (Powered by Citi) - This LinkedIn group boasts more than 150,000 members and proclaims to be "the go-to resource for current news discussions that will help women be better at what they do, and what they want to do." While content and comments are moderated and must be approved before posting, the conversation within the group is lively and diverse. Women can share insightful articles, ask questions, seek advice and share experience. If you're not sure where to start looking for a mentor, or aren't sure how to be a mentor, this group is a great place to start. But be prepared to get lost for several hours in the content and conversation - there's a ton here.
What resources have you discovered to help you or others in your career? How do you think social media has impacted the role of mentor? Let us know in the comments!