|Myself (center), pictured two great philanthropists: animal rights activist
Wendy Diamond, and, fashion and style expert Jennie Mai, on the right
To this, I answer a resounding yes. From the amazing BlogHer Conferences, to individual (and less publicized) acts of service, so much is being done online. Recently, a group of engaged teenage girls, too young to vote, used social media to influence the selection of a female journalist as a presidential debate moderator. Impressive!
Over the past year, I have had the pleasure of connecting with some of social media's role models for female empowerment. Ann Tran and Amy Neumann come to mind. Their role with last winter's highly successful 12 Days of Giving cemented their reputations as reliable ambassadors and advocates of the social good.
These are not merely instances where we are celebrating women in positions of power or those with notoriety. No, this is about women, young and seasoned, spear-heading efforts and making their lives a positive example for others. This is what I am seeing more of, and it is truly inspiring. Social media platforms are breaking down barriers, and connecting women around the world: the corporate executive in Ivory Coast; the small business owner in Ireland; and the nonprofit advocate in India. When they communicate, they can see both the differences that make them unique, and the commonalities that bring them together.
Last year, a writer from the New Yorker downplayed the significance of social media in galvanizing people. "How" they do things is "less interesting" than "why", the writer reasoned. But for the women around the world that I know, it's not an either/or proposition: how they combat gender inequality and create opportunity for future generations is just as important as why they do it.
There is no denying the power of online communities to ignite and foster meaningful change. Great examples are all around us. We just have to be brave enough to look.As Cory Booker recently put it: "When women get involved, things change. Neighborhoods change; cities change; our nation changes - all for the better." Indeed, lives are saved, impacted, and empowered on a daily basis. Yes, social media is an amazing tool. Let's keep using it for the greater good.