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.

SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Project Assistant

    £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a leading company in the field ...

    Recruitment Genius: DBA Developer - SQL Server

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Office Manager

    £26041 - £34876 per annum: Recruitment Genius: There has never been a more exc...

    Recruitment Genius: Travel Customer Service and Experience Manager

    £14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing travel comp...

    Day In a Page

    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

    Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
    HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
    Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

    'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

    Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
    Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

    The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

    Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
    RuPaul interview: The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head

    RuPaul interview

    The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head
    Secrets of comedy couples: What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?

    Secrets of comedy couples

    What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?
    Satya Nadella: As Windows 10 is launched can he return Microsoft to its former glory?

    Satya Nadella: The man to clean up for Windows?

    While Microsoft's founders spend their billions, the once-invincible tech company's new boss is trying to save it
    The best swimwear for men: From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer

    The best swimwear for men

    From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer
    Mark Hix recipes: Our chef tries his hand at a spot of summer foraging

    Mark Hix goes summer foraging

     A dinner party doesn't have to mean a trip to the supermarket
    Ashes 2015: With an audacious flourish, home hero Ian Bell ends all debate

    With an audacious flourish, the home hero ends all debate

    Ian Bell advances to Trent Bridge next week almost as undroppable as Alastair Cook and Joe Root, a cornerstone of England's new thinking, says Kevin Garside
    Aaron Ramsey interview: Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season

    Aaron Ramsey interview

    Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season
    Community Shield: Arsene Wenger needs to strike first blow in rivalry with Jose Mourinho

    Community Shield gives Wenger chance to strike first blow in rivalry with Mourinho

    As long as the Arsenal manager's run of games without a win over his Chelsea counterpart continues it will continue to dominate the narrative around the two men
    The unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth - and what it says about English life

    Unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth

    Bournemouth’s elevation to football’s top tier is one of the most improbable of recent times. But it’s illustrative of deeper and wider changes in English life
    A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

    A Very British Coup, part two

    New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
    Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

    Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

    Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms