NETWORK : A home on the Web

"The Web is an unfriendly place for women." Is this statement fact or fiction? Well, it's both, really. It is often said that women are better at communicating than men, and the Web is a perfect place to exchange information, empower users through furthering contacts and knowledge and, sometimes, just have a chat.

But where do you start? Just a few months ago, as a woman taking her first tentative steps through a mire of Web sites, newsgroups and search engines, you could type in "women, arts", say, and come up with a few unlinked sites of varying levels of usefulness. You would also end up entering sites that contained only pornographic pictures and get rather depressed if what you were after was something quite different, visually.

All that has changed for women online with the launch of WWWomen - The Premier Search Directory for Women Online. An initiative from founders Sue Levin and Kathleen McMahon, both experienced professionals in the computer and Internet industries, WWWomen is dedicated to making life easier for women online. Its main focus is to cut out the big boys' search engines and let you look at sites of interest for women from an at-a-glance menu.

But WWWomen is not just a search engine. Ms Levin and Ms McMahon are keen to develop a female-friendly atmosphere online. Users can trawl through linked sites or hang out in chat rooms, participate in forums on everything from health to politics, or get constantly updated news and views.

There's even an online newsletter, with features such as "What Community Means to Women Online", from Stephanie Brail, founder of Amazon City, the first city for women on the Internet. In her piece, Ms Brail explains why she is interested in more initiatives like WWWomen being set up. "To women especially, who, like myself, may have felt lost in a profession filled with men, finding other like-minded women is not just a question of fun, it is a question of survival."

The design is simple, clean and vivid - no prizes for guessing that pink is the dominant hue throughout on the site - and Ms Levin and Ms McMahon are keen to stress that they welcome all points of view.

WWWomen is sticking to the open access feel of the Net. Anyone can suggest a URL, and men are not banned. They may feel a little uncomfortable in some of the sites, but they may also learn something about how women operate in business through the exchange policy of WWWomen. Tap on to "Science and Technology" and you can e-mail an engineering question direct to a female engineer; enter the list of more than 100 sites under "Working Women" and you can network with other businesswomen across the worldn

WWWomen:http://www.wwwomen.com/

Sophia Chauchard-Stuart

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

    £15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

    Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

    £22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

    Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

    Day In a Page

    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
    10 best statement lightbulbs

    10 best statement lightbulbs

    Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
    Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
    Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

    Dustin Brown

    Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
    Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
    Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

    Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

    Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
    John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

    Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

    'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
    Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

    Forget little green men

    Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
    Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

    Dying dream of Doctor Death

    Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy