By Pamela Chatry, Managing Director, eWomen Network Vancouver Metro and Coquitlam
Written for

Linked in, Facebook, Twitter. These social networking sites are familiar to most people. But did you know that there is a hugely successful online social marketing site that connected women long before Facebook and is still expanding to this day? Ten years ago a dynamic woman named Sandra Yancey from Dallas, Texas had an exciting business idea. She created the very first online community for professional and business women. The website was named and as its vision stated; it would become ‘the #1 resource for connecting and promoting women in North America’.

Well, Sandra quickly realized that she was truly ahead of the trend. In 1991 the Internet was still a baby, and people didn’t really understand what the value of this amazing site meant to the average business. Sandra went back to her business plan and clearly identified a missing piece: women don’t always like working in a vacuum. They need to build relationships face-to-face. They need to see one another, laugh together and support one another. Hence, the local chapters of eWomen Network were born and in-person networking events were created to compliment the online community. Today there are over 90 chapters throughout North America.

So how did this networking group outlive so many others? eWomen Network constantly evaluates and identifies what women need for success, and then finds opportunities to provide it. There is now a publishing alliance, a radio show, a keynote speakers’ bureau, educational tele-calls, free coaching services and a huge annual conference. The list goes on and on.

Sandra Yancey also saw the need to give back to women and children. She created a separate non-profit eWomen Network Foundation that gives thousands of dollars in grants and awards to communities across North America every year.

So on a local scale, members can take advantage of the multiple networking meetings, follow-up with the women they meet, and build quality alliances. However, eWomen Network members have access to so much more than local networking. A membership in a local chapter automatically guarantees a member-at-large status. What does this mean? Women can travel to any other city with a eWomen Network Chapter, and be introduced to another established community of professional women.

Membership also means becoming part of a vast database of women. The website is the most visited businesswomen’s network on the Internet today! Each member is given a landing page that can be personalized and search engine optimized. The website averages more than 300,000 hits daily and eProfiles can link to members’ own websites.

Sandra Yancey, eTechology pioneer, has created a new way of doing business where the commute is short, marketing and promotional opportunities are many, and new relationships are for life.