Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project Profile – Chrysula Winegar


Photo Credit: Chrysula Winegar

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Chrysula Winegar.

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

Late 2008.  After the birth of my fourth child, I realized I had some things to say and a lot I wanted to learn.

3) What has social media allowed you to do in your life (personal, professional, business, nonprofit, community)?

Social media allowed me to gain wider circulation for my thinking and point of view.  It enabled incredible connections with others in the leadership, work life balance, and coaching spaces.  It led me to my business partners.  It also led me to working with the UN Foundation as the Community Manager for http://millionmomschallenge.org, an initiative to raise awareness of global maternal and child health issues.   In addition, social media motivated me to start running and helped me fundraise for www.everymothercounts,org.  Now I am running my first marathon in NYC in November!!  In short, social media is a critical thread running through all elements of my life.

4) In her 2011 Digital Women: from geeks to mainstream presentation that was given at the WIFT International Women Conference for Digital Women, Dr. Taly Weiss, a social psychologist and CEO/Founder of Trendspotting, concluded that “women are dominant digital users – they breathe and live digital.”  Dr. Weiss’ conclusion echoes BlogHer’s 2011 Social Media Matters Study findings.  They include 87 million women (18 to 76 years old) are now online, 69 million women use social media weekly, 80 million women use social media monthly, and 55 million women read blogs monthly. These facts illustrate the power and presence women have in the digital space. Now that’s Digital Sisterhood!

How has social media helped you carve out leadership roles as you interact online and offline?

By hitting publish on a blog full of opinions, data, and perspective that I must own and take responsibility for, I have had to embrace my own views and take courage in them. The connections forged and the curation social media allows has helped me further shape my thinking on key issues and solidified my expertise in my chosen areas. That has translated into many public speaking experiences where I am offering guidance and leadership to others.

5) Social media has helped women become Digital Sisterhood Leaders, ambassadors of social expression who share what they are passionate about online.  In her upcoming book, Digital Sisterhood: Fierce Living Online for 25 Years (Fall 2012), Ananda Leeke, founder of the Digital Sisterhood Network, writes, “Without even knowing it, women have become Digital Sisterhood Leaders as they use their social media platforms to advocate causes; to build communities; to create apps, art, books, businesses, products, publications, services, tools, and webisodes; to curate content; to educate and inform; to give voice to their thoughts as subject matter experts, thought leaders, and brand ambassadors; to share information and experiences; to explore and experiment with new technologies as early adopters and trendsetters; to engage in social good; to influence others with their lifestyles and personal interests; to inspire and motivate; to mentor; to network; to tell their personal stories; and to promote and celebrate the expertise, gifts, and talents of others.  Based on my online and offline interactions, I have identified 12 key leadership roles they play: advocate, community builder, creator, curator, educator, influencer, mentor, motivator, promoter, social do gooder, storyteller, and thought leader.”

What other types of leadership roles do women play in social media?

That’s a pretty exhaustive list! Not sure I can add to it. I feel like all of those titles apply and I have embraced each one in different things I’ve done in my online life – sometimes all at once!

6) What types of leadership roles do you play in social media?

The leadership roles I play in social media include advocate, community builder, educator, motivator, promoter, social do gooder and storyteller  for maternal and child health issues in the developing world; advocate, creator, curator, educator, influencer, mentor, storyteller and thought leader in the work life balance conversation. I’m also a storyteller in everything that I do.

7) What lessons have you learned as a leader in the digital space?

Don’t be afraid to change your mind.  As your ideas evolve, it is essential to be open, but make sure it’s grounded in principles and values so you’re not just blowing in the wind.

8) Do you have plans to expand your leadership roles in the digital space? If so, what are they?

Yes, but I am not ready to discuss yet.

9) Who are your favorite social media women leaders and why?

Emily McKhann of themotherhood.com is so authentic and warm and real. She has built a community based on heart and smarts. Morra Aarons-Mele of wearewomenonline.com is a genius (no really), incredibly generous, and such a great advocate of women’s influence online. Gabby Blair brings a great deal of fun and beauty to the business, but underneath it all, she is a very sharp entrepreneur. I love how she brings it all together. Katherine Stone of postpartumprogress.com has done so much to show us how to build communities and really change the conversation at a global level on an issue.  Kristina Daniele of weofhue.com is influencing the dialogue around race in profound ways.  There are so many! I cannot even begin to list them all. I am influenced by some incredible women in the space.

10) Share three ways women can use social media to define and express their personal leadership brand.

  • Just get out there and use the medium, even if you don’t understand it yet. A few nights diving in to the insanity of Twitter is the only way to really get it.
  • Expand your Facebook usage to go beyond family updates or cute pictures.
  • Get bold and share what you think on an issue or an article. As Moms Rising says, “use your outside voice”!
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