Feeling unfulfilled, disconnected and lacking a sense of community after attending numerous events in our fields and events geared towards women empowerment, we found two common denominators: (1) we didn’t feel adequately represented due to the low number of women present we identified with and (2) there weren’t many women who could give us sound advice at the various points in our careers. We realized the prime opportunity to fuel our frustrations into fighting for women at our stage is now and the importance of ensuring no woman gets lost in the pipeline of realizing and actualizing their dreams is critical.

Women represent the majority of early tech adopters, social gamers, and are amassing wealth at rates that will culminate in control $22 trillion of US wealth by the end of this decade. However, the statistics show that women are still struggling to find a seat at the table alongside their male counterparts. Women only make 78% of an average man's salary, where less than 5% of recognized music producers are women, 3.6% of women make up advertising creative directors, where the average percentage of booked females acts at major festival line-ups is a mere 3-8%, 1 in 2 mothers report workplace discrimination as a result of their pregnancies, where the worldwide weighted average gender gap index is below 0.7, and two thirds of the global illiterate population are women. These are just some of the statistics plaguing women in male-dominated industries and why the need for a platform that constantly identifies and recognizes the next generation of women leaders and builds intimate communities is important.

What it does

On COZY GIRLZ, women can seek advice on particular topics and search for opportunities. Users can also ask questions including salary negotiation, landing their first job, overcoming insecurities and even self-care routine reccomendations. Additionally, COZY GIRLZ features industry experts, who share insights on their experiences through the female lens. Users are able to ask these experts any questions they have and get advice based on their experiences. COZY GIRLZ also grants women access to: "Salary Share," a database type forum where women across industries share details on their salary to build better transparency among women when talking about pay and negotiation.

In a nutshell, women on the platform are able to access industry experts, learn from their peers, find answers to their most pressing questions and make lasting friendships. The sole purpose of the platform is to solve the problem of disconnect and loneliness women face in male-dominated industries by curating intimate communities that make users feel comfortable and that they deem a go-to resource to navigate the personal and professional aspect of their lives.

How I built it

We built this platform using HTML and CSS. It incorporates multiple pages showcasing what the platform offers to women, ways to sign up for email updates, access salary information and create member profiles. Additionally, we utilized the Adobe Creative Suite that included tools such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator to create a strong branding/design and easy-to-use experience and flow for users on the platform.

Challenges I ran into

Many of the challenges we faced were on the technical side. When using HTML and CSS to build our platform we had difficulties embedding Google maps into the website, building the sign for our platform's membership feature and bridging code with design-facing elements from Adobe Creative Suite to format and create an overall seamless look. Furthermore, from an organizational standpoint we faced initial challenges in the beginning of forming a team. We started off with three members and through utilizing strong networking and communication we were able to add two additional members using our time wisely on the the first day to walk around and get to know others in the room. Once we built our team, we struggled on where to start causing a hurdle with dividing up tasks amongst members. To overcome this, we did creative exercises such as creating user personas, journey mapping a typical day for a user in our customer base and brainstorming language for our platform. Not only did this bring us closer together, but organically led to our team gravitating to tasks that matched their strengths and skillsets.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

We are all a diverse group from various fields that have either experienced or observed firsthand the effects of women working in male-dominated fields. Together, we were able to create a final product we are extremely proud of and that showcases the passion of everyone on the team. We are extremely proud of the technical and organizational hurdles we overcame, creating a strong branding identity with our logo and the aesthetic of the website, and making a website that mirrored our sketch and wireframe we worked together to develop. Overall, our most proudest accomplishment is the fact that we truly worked as a team, we were kind to one another, intuitive on the needs of other members in the group including when we all needed to take a break and refuel or creativity. Additionally, the Not only did we build a platform but we truly bonded with one another while fueling our passions for social impact and mission-driven work.

What I learned

One of the most fundamental things we learned is that technical skills are not the foundation of a functional website, but the outline and design-thinking are key elements that sets the tone for a strong foundation of a well designed website. We also noticed that as we became closer as a team we were able to make not only measurable but our progress. In the beginning we didn’t know where to start and we were kind of confused, but as time went on we were able to fall into sync with each other. None of us had that much experience coding but we were able to realize that we could still make a good website because we knew what we wanted and we had a good foundation.

What's next for COZY GIRLZ

COZY GIRLZ has plans to build a strong real time salary database of women and men in all industries with a special focus on male-dominating industries. We are going to partner with companies like GlassDoor, LinkedIn, Indeed to obtain salary insights and estimations. Additional plans include further building our platform through these things:

Y-Combinator Grant opportunities Strong backend team Writers Lead generation

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