NY tech start-up, SAYge Link is helping women support each other through valuable connections.
Guest Blog by Linda Nedell, Founder SAYge Link
Through technology we have never been more capable of staying connected. In fact, many if not most of our relationships are being started and maintained through online outlets. But is the digitally connected world offering the quality of connections we need, when we need it? Based on personal experience and growing research, the answer is a resounding no. We created our NY based company SAYge Link to help solve this problem by filling the gaping hole left by current digital support options for women.
A large study of 1400 online social network users showed that 92% did not have someone to talk to or ask for help when they needed it. Aligning with that research is the 89% of women we surveyed who said they did not have someone to identify with when going through a major life issue. Loneliness is on the rise and has even been deemed a crisis. This increase is being seen in all age groups, especially millennials who are the greatest users of social media by age group. What does all of this information tell us? We have never been more connected, yet there exists a real lack of valuable connection.
89% of women we surveyed who said they did not have someone to identify with when going through a major life issue.
There is no questioning the benefit that comes with support from a circle of friends, family, or professional therapists. How can we optimize the value that comes from connection through technology? It comes down to finding the right people and having real conversations. There is a researched health benefit to talking about an issue with someone you can identify with. This includes a reduced stress response and an overall improved sense of well-being. Talking with someone who has experience in what you are currently seeking insight on can be invaluable on many levels – these conversations have the power to reduce stigma, empower, and even spread social capital. It is this precise value that sparked our digital platform. We wanted to take the happenstance out of these conversations and make them easily accessible for all women.
Talking with someone who has experience in what you are currently seeking insight on can be invaluable on many levels – these conversations have the power to reduce stigma, empower, and even spread social capital.
Responding to Today’s Challenges
In fostering the spread of social capital, targeted connections between women are vitally important as we break the glass ceiling especially in gender unequal industries such as tech. As we developed our platform, we heard a loud need from women in tech for connection and support from other women in the industry. To dive deeper, we created a STEM focus which was headed by computer science students from Queens College and City College. We found that an overwhelming number of women starting out in this field feel they lack mentorship and wished they could have targeted conversations with someone who has experienced insight to offer on various topics pertaining to their career or industry.
The need for a technology-enabled connection has never been more palpable than it is now in our present circumstances. The COVID crisis is bringing unprecedented issues we must navigate while physically apart, out of our routine and away from our usual resources. According to the United Nations, COVID’s social and economic impact will hit women the hardest.
According to the United Nations, COVID’s social and economic impact will hit women the hardest.
Our platform is helping women by offering a space to connect to exchange insight over these unique issues. Our current environment has truly highlighted the need for the digital world to provide a more valuable connection. We hope that SAYge Link can help foster that change.
About The Author:
Linda Nedell is the founder of SAYge Link. As a clinical physician assistant (she is currently working on the frontline) she entered Columbia’s Masters of Health Administration 3 years ago, which is where her platform took wings. Three classmates and a professor helped her take an idea from problem to solution. She is balancing her work in healthcare, being a wife, a mom to an amazing 9-year old girl, and now founder pursuing her passion to create a platform that can help women around the globe.