Ask. Give. Grow. Women in Digital Trade Secrets, Knowledge, Power

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  • February 9, 2018
  • Kari Hernandez

Starr and I had the great honor of telling our INK story at the recent Austin chapter meeting of Women in Digital. This organization, founded through the incredible courage of Alaina Shearer, is all about connecting women in digital through digital.

Something Alaina said in her keynote at the national Women in Digital conference last year truly captures the empowering nature of the organization: “The thing is – the thing that keeps me going and keeps all of us going – is that we are the most powerful women that have existed in modern history. I believe this with every cell of my being.” The full speech is worth a watch and can be foundhere.

Imagine a Slack channel with the smartest women in your field who are there because they want to share their secrets with you and learn from you. That’s the idea behind Women in Digital’s “Asks and Gives”, one of the big benefits of the organization’s membership. Every member pledges to make 12 asks a year and 12 gives, but I doubt they are limiting themselves to that.

My participation just started with Women in Digital, but I’ve been benefiting from strong women who were willing to share their secrets with me all my life. My partnerships and colleagues at INK, my family of strong women, my friendships that bridge personal and professional, all these women make a daily impact on my ability to be successful and happy.

Women supporting women. That’s what it’s all about. This doesn’t mean we don’t support men or appreciate and need the support of men. But it means that we start supporting each other and stop hoarding our secrets from each other in a zero-sum game.

Recently, I spent two days with old friends and fellow creative entrepreneurs where we opened up our toolboxes to each other, shared our best decks, and pooled our creative energies to solve each other’s problems. We closed that meeting by establishing a Slack channel and the conversations and sharing has continued.

I also participate in monthly meetings with the Women President’s Organization, a group of female leaders from Austin, and in network with female leaders around the country. This is another group built on trust, confidentiality, support, and sharing, and I have learned so much from these women about hiring, coaching, marketing, legal – as well as the comfort that we all have the same struggles with balancing our lives with our jobs. Similarly, a Slack channel connects us for quick communication between meetings.

This kind of open sharing also existing through the Capital Factory mentor program. I always feel like I learn as much as I reveal in these monthly sessions with entrepreneurs. Digital tools connect the entire community allowing us to expand beyond those physical meetings and office space. Making it easier for anyone to ask and give.

I think that’s digital’s role here – making those asks and gives easier to make and making those connections and support networks more permanent. Let’s use these tools to their fullest and open our minds and hearts to each other so that everyone can ask, give, and grow.

Got an ask for me? Shoot me an email at kari@ink-co.com.