Pamela Hibbler is at the vanguard of creating safe places for women to expand their professional networks.
We’re in the midst of a really bizarre year, and no one seems to be making it through unscathed — not even the President. Hundreds of thousands of women — nearly eight times more than the number of men — dropped out of the U.S. labor force last month, and emerging evidence on the impact of Covid-19 tells us that women’s economic and productive lives will be negatively affected disproportionate to men in the future.
The thing about losing a job is you’re not just losing the paycheck at the end of the month. You’re also losing a whole network of people with whom you interacted on a daily basis — people who were your connection to the world outside your periphery. It’s at a time like this when digital spaces thrive, especially if they’ve been built with the intention to empower people. When it comes to all-women’s networks, unity and diversity are key to success. Having a different perspective when dealing with challenges or wanting feedback could make a huge difference in women’s lives.
That’s why Pamela Hibbler set out to build a networking app for women that could offer support and guidance for women in all facets of their lives. She is now CEO and co-founder of TechMae, a new women’s-only digital space dedicated to empowering and supporting other women. And Hibbler is just getting started.
“When my co-founder, Vanessa Bishop-Moore, and I started building TechMae in 2018, there weren’t many women-exclusive online social networking apps on the market,” Hibbler says. “We wanted our app to be the ultimate safe space for women to connect with one another in real-time, share their stories, find much needed advice and benefit from the network. It’s not just for career guidance, but also for friendship, health, inspiration and more.”
It’s about more than social-media maintenance
Women use social media from day to day, but how much is it helping them? Over the last few years, we’ve seen more and more testimony from women about how social media is leaving them feeling insecure, unsatisfied and unhappy. It’s been linked to a lack of sleep quality, bullying and a deteriorating body image — especially among young girls and women.
“With a digital space that eliminates these predatory algorithms, we can have a platform that’s actually a safe space for women to let their guard down with other women,” says Hibbler.
Discrimination, sexism, imposture syndrome and racism are among what women face daily. These are sensitive topics that can only be talked about in certain social settings. If women had real-time access to a supportive community of other women, advice and insight could be shared, and solutions could be found.
“Imagine a daily congregation where you get to meet like-minded women from all walks of life,” Hibbler enthuses. “Successful women who are motivated for self-growth, with whom you can develop meaningful bonds.It would be life-changing in ways you haven’t envisioned.”
That’s the theme behind uniting women on TechMae that can be applied to any enterprising, female-driven initiative. If you think you have the next big idea, but aren’t entirely sure about how to get valuable advice, then build a team and find a support group that allows you to network. Build a community around you who can offer you feedback and valuable insight.
This article first appeared in Entrepreneur.