Yahoo is taking aim at the distinct content and buying power of women with a new Website called Shine.
Women in the male dominated technology business said there is a real need for Web content that speaks directly to women. They said Websites like Shine and ChannelWeb's Women of the Channel are necessary to educate young girls to compete in corporate America.
"This is great," said Laura Steward, CEO of Guardian Angel Computer Services, a Norwalk Conn. Solution provider. "A lot of younger woman just coming into their own are deciding what they want to do with their lives and careers and many still are hesitant about technology. The schools and families are still not focusing on that. I was very fortunate my parents taught me whatever I wanted to do I just could go out and do it."
"It is these types of new Websites that encourage women to go out and build a career," said Steward. "There is still a lot of focus on the woman being the caregiver only. The pretty face if you will."
Steward said it is critical that young girls understand it is not just about being pretty. "What Websites like Shine and Women in The Channel do is really put the emphasis on the whole package,"she said. "It's not about just your looks. It is really about your intelligence, your commitment, your education and your drive. If you talk to any woman CEO who are really successful they will tell you they got support from mentors, family and friends along the way."
Yahoo said a "new editorial team will develop original stories on a daily basis, and hand pick the best user blog posts to feature prominently on the site." The Web portal provider said Yahoo Shine creates a single destination for the approximately 40 million women between the ages of 25 and 54 who already come to Yahoo! each month, making it what they called "a more relevant starting point for this audience."
The new Website will feature nine categories "ranging from Fashion & Beauty to Parenting, and will feature content from many of the most popular lifestyles publishers, including Conde Nast Publications and Hearst Corporation."
Steward said it is particularly important that the Web offerings deal with women juggling career and family or even career and their role as caregivers.
Steward herself is dealing with that very issue as she opened an office in Melbourne, Fla. to be closer to her aging parents. Last week, her 79-year-old Dad, Edward, who has Parkinson's disease, blacked out. Steward was there to help her 78-year-old Mom through the ordeal. "He almost died," she said. "It was frightening. I don't know what would have happened if I wasn't here. My Dad is in a rehabilitation center now."
Steward started Guardian Angel Computer Services 14 years ago after an eight-year-career as an engineer at Pitney Bowes. Steward received a severance package with medical benefits from Pitney Bowes that provided her with the ability to start Guardian Angel Computer Services.
"That was a huge decision," she said of her decision to start the business. "And at the same time I was going through a divorce. I took one step at a time and looked at it one hour at a time. I looked at it as I was starting a new life and what did I want that new life to be?"
Steward said she hopes Shine addresses how woman think differently than men. "Understanding how woman work is critical," she said. "We work differently. Woman are extreme multitaskers. Because of this the way we do business is very different. We leap ahead five or ten steps."