Spokane Journal of Business

Girl Scouts, LinkedIn develop new network

Platform intended to connect more youth with women mentors

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Girl Scouts of the USA has partnered with professional networking website LinkedIn to create a new platform called Girl Scout Network, which aims to connect Girl Scout alumna, enabling them to share their career experiences and advice.

Nicole Wood, Spokane-based director of marketing and philanthropy for Girl Scouts of Eastern Washington & Northern Idaho, says regional councils like hers are excited to begin using the network as a resource for connecting with Girl Scout alumna. 

“Regional councils like Girl Scouts of Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho are individual nonprofits that are all affiliated with the national organization, Girl Scouts USA,” she explains. “We are local, but we still rely heavily on what’s happening on the national level. This network allows for greater communication across all levels, so it’s a resource most regional councils will want to tap into.”

According to the national organization, the collaboration came about as part of the organization’s efforts to partner with technology companies whose missions align with that of Girl Scouts.  

Wood says Girl Scout Network will enable regional councils to identify trends and opportunities for women in the workplace via feedback from alumnae, which should in turn help them to develop more meaningful programming for their current members.

“One of the biggest goals for Girl Scouts across the country is creating future female leaders,” she says. “A lot of what we do is based on creating leadership opportunities for girls, and that extends to when they become alums.”

While the regional council here already connects with alumnae regularly through newsletters and surveys, Wood says the LinkedIn platform will help the organization to do more to connect and engage alumnae in our region.

“Part of the impetus of creating this network was to help us identify and reach out to alums we’ve lost touch with, who may welcome opportunities to be more active,” she says. “Through past surveys, we know our alums are interested in attending career resource events and finding opportunities to mentor or interact with current scouts.” 

Wood also points out that the network, which is available to more than 546 million LinkedIn members and 59 million Girl Scout alumnae nationwide, officially launched April 5, just days after the Washington Legislature passed the Equal Pay Opportunity Act, and only a few days prior to national Equal Pay Day, April 10.

“At a time when women continue to struggle for equal pay in the workplace and national movements like #MeToo are gaining strength, I think Girl Scouts USA is hoping this platform will serve as a positive resource for alums and current scouts,” she says. 

Wood says data collected by the Girl Scout Research Institute show one in every two adult women is a Girl Scout alumna, and more than 52 percent of women in business are Girl Scout alumnae.

“Many of our Girl Scout alums are incredibly successful individuals,” she says. “This network is a way for them to connect with each other, and share their experiences and success stories with other girls, particularly those in high school that are looking to prepare for a career or college.” 

Wood says Girl Scouts of Eastern Washington & Northern Idaho serves about 4,000 girls in kindergarten through 12th grade with the help of 2,000 dedicated adult volunteers.

The council is headquartered here in Spokane, and also has regional field staff located in the Tri-Cities, as well as Coeur d’Alene.

Wood says the council serves an area comprised of 19 counties in Central and Eastern Washington, and 10 counties in northern Idaho for a total of 30 counties covering 67,000 square miles.

LeAnn Bjerken
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Reporter LeAnn Bjerken covers health care at the Journal of Business. A Minnesota native and cat lover, she enjoys beachside vacations and writing poetry. LeAnn has worked for the Journal since 2015.

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