Thank You Citibank Connect Professional Women's Network
Who knew LinkedIn groups - when managed by professionals - could be quite so powerful? I had no idea when asked to be an "expert" for the day at CitiBank's Connect Professional Women's Network that it would deliver hundreds of women to the She Negotiates website seeking the knowledge they need to finally be paid 100 cents on the dollar of their true market value.
I stumbled over this dynamic network of 156,000+ women in my second year of blogging at Forbes. I'd noticed that I'd gotten tens of thousands of "hits" on one of my posts from CitiBank's network and joined that group immediately. I started participating as an active group member right away - posting articles I thought were pertinent to women's career issues, weighing in on polls, reading what other women were posting, and making connections with other members to whom I thought I might be of service and who I believed might be of service to me.
Take a look at that group's demographics! Wow! It's an incredible group of extremely successful women, all of whom have made a proactive choice to join a group for the presumed purpose of furthering their careers.
When I agreed to be the month of July's "expert" for Citibank Connect, I thought it would be a good way to get the word out on the mission of our business to close the wage, income and leadership gender gaps one woman at a time.
It hasn't been easy establishing a beachhead on the island of women professionals, executives, managers and entrepreneurs. We'd been featured on NPR's All Things Considered and interviewed on PRI's Marketplace. We'd written for CNN's Leading Woman page, contributed more than 1,000 posts at ForbesWoman, served as The Daily Muse's Ask the Negotiators specialists, and appeared on multiple occasions in women's bar association journals and at the American Bar Association's magazine and its section journals.
All of these media appearances (including a local CNN news appearance we'd both like to forget -the visuals, not the content) are ROI chopped liver compared to a single day at Citibank Connect.
Here's what I believe the reason to be: women who join a group like Citibank Connect aren't simply in our market, they have taken proactive steps to improve their careers. They ARE the women who are prepared and preparing themselves to Take the Lead. They are and were inspiring, courageous, curious, willing to learn and, more importantly, eager to put their learning to immediate use for the benefit of themselves and their families, the benefit of their industries and their companies, and, ultimately, for the benefit of their communities, their cities, their states and their nations.
I DO NOT EXAGGERATE.
These are the women who are the backbone of the new women's movement that's been spawned by the disappointing news that we haven't moved the needle on compensation, retention or promotion in the professions or in corporate America in ten years.
Well, I've got news for America. We are ready and able to serve. We have the knowledge, the wisdom, the education, the experience, the savvy, and the passion to drive the American economy past this jobless recession and into a far, far better future.
Citibank Connect and the wonderful women who work for it like Jacky Carter, Community Manager for Professional Women at LinkedIn, have our backs and are standing by the doors that have been opened to us, encouraging us and providing us with the resources necessay to take our seats at the tables of power across every sector and in every industry to promote the well-being not only of the economy, but also of those people the economy has so dreadfully failed.
Kudos to Jacky and everyone who works with and for Citibank Connect. And gratitude to those women who have put their backs to the wheel of progress. We knew the skills before we formed She Negotiates. But we didn't have a clue about what working women truly needed to advance. We know now because of you. Women of Web 2.0 are truly a virtuous circle and we are grateful beyond measure for each and every one of you.