When I first moved to Cleveland almost nine years ago – I was immediately thrown into the networking space because I had a heavy focus on new business. It was exciting – I was in a new town, full of talent and wonderful opportunities.
As time passed – one thing that was blatantly obvious – there weren’t many women at my dinners, happy hours or breakfast meetings – at least those where the decisions were being made and the business was being done.
But that still didn’t solve the dilemma for me – why weren’t their voices at the table during these every day sessions where important decisions were being made? Why was I expected to simply meet up with them at annual conferences and or leadership trainings?
I wanted to talk and network with women in Cleveland every day!
And to add to the issue – I was constantly being approached by women asking me to help them blog. They knew I was in the marketing and communication field and I was constantly approached (often by Baby Boomers) who wanted to break into the social media and blogosphere and start engaging in these conversations. They often had fear of how to start and whether or not they could manage the channels – but one thing was clear – they were dying to join the discussions.
Now, quite a few years later – the landscape has gotten better. But not equal. And that is a problem. And like many, when I see a problem, I want to fix it.
I founded SheInTheCLE.com with my two business partners – Christina Klenotic and Shibani Faehnle – because we all had one common goal – to elevate the female voices in our community. We happened to think (and still do) that there are far too less of those voices and conversations being pushed out and there were far too many wonderful stories and perspectives that weren’t being shared. If we took the conversations online – and let a groundswell naturally occur – would that shift the dynamics in the board rooms and at the power luncheons? We hope so!
SheInTheCLE.com is a blogger collective for women in Northeast Ohio. The topics include entrepreneurship, She-Suite (women in the C-Suite), Moms, Lifestlye and #ThisIsCLE (stories about our town).
And our blog publishes posts from established bloggers or novices – it’s not about the experience you have writing but rather the story you have to tell. Managing the backend side of a blog can be intimidating and time-consuming. So we wanted to take that burden and fear away – and give people a platform to engage.
Since we launched roughly seven weeks ago, our site is averaging between 300-500 hits a day and there have been quite a few blogs that have now hit close to 1,500 views. It’s proof to us that others are finding this content and these conversations valuable.
Our engagement level is high on the actual blogs and via our social channels and each of us has been approached by women and men thanking us for bringing this tool to our community.
We know it’s early and we have some thoughts on how we want the site to evolve – but for now, all four of us love meeting up to talk about the blogs that have moved us, drove us to action or even brought us to tears. And that’s more than we could have ever hoped for.
We now have played a part in bringing women into those everyday conversations that matter. And reminding everyone that there are plenty of SHEs in our CLE – and they have quite a bit to say!