PYP Media: Smart Content for Smart Women

In the beginning of my first job after college, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. While college provides great lessons for life, few of those lessons are readily applicable in the corporate world.

What’s more, many young women face issues not encountered by their male colleagues: how to dress neither too sexily nor too square; how to navigate the line between assertive and [expletive that rhymes with witchy]; even how to develop mentorship relationships with senior leaders who are often older, married men.

Amanda Pouchot

Enter PYP Media, or – as it’s known to friends – Pretty Young Professional.

Started by four women who met at management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, PYP is a media company and career resource designed to appeal to today’s ambitious GenY female. Our site soft-launched on November 1st and has already reached readers in over 100 countries.

Our leadership team is a diverse bunch: there’s Amanda, a sports-loving California native who’s the optimist of the bunch; Alexandra, our COO, a former management consultant who loves cycling and has a wicked knack for organization; and Caroline, an environmental sustainability consultant and “child of the world.” And of course me, the Editor in Chief, an insatiable globe-trotter and chocolate lover who spent time working on public healthcare in Rwanda before joining the team.

While we had initially conceived of PYP as purely a career resource, our vision has expanded to include a variety of professional, lifestyle and work/life balance content. Smart content for smart women, in other words. In future weeks, we hope to expand into events and speaking as well.

Kathryn Minshew

The need PYP addresses is real: women are still lagging behind in the corporate world. Although women make up more than half of all college graduates and PhD candidates, they only account for 3% of Fortune 500 CEOs and 16% of Board Seats at Fortune 500 companies. Women have fewer role models to demonstrate an achievable path to personal and professional fulfillment. In my first position out of college, I was discouraged to see few women managing both successful careers and a “normal” family life. Men in their same tenures often had a stay-at-home wife, while the women seemed forced to choose between work and family.

In addition to new opportunities for career advancement, today’s young women also face pressures to look perfect, to act perfectly, to do it all. We have been overscheduled all of our lives; excelling academically, involved in extracurricular activities and developing many necessary leadership skills. Yet throughout our youth we were fed media that portrayed an image of the ideal woman – and let me tell you, she wasn’t the breadwinner.

Alex Cavoulacos

Faced with this conundrum, young women today are often stuck between the excellence we seek and the societal stereotypes that tell us to play nice and put others’ needs first. What’s a young professional woman to do?

That’s where we come in. Providing actionable advice, downloadable resources and a supporting community, we help young women navigate the early stages of their professional careers. PYP includes content on identifying your passions, finding the right job for you, and then beginning a job search. For those who don’t know where to start, we have a library of anonymous insiders’ career profiles on what it is really like to work in professions as diverse as sales, government or i-banking.

Our site’s name, Pretty Young Professional, is both a tongue-in-cheek response to the Michael Jackson song, and a serious response to the widely held perspective that young women are more “pretty and young” than ambitious professionals. Our conviction is that being young and female does not compromise our confidence, talent, and drive to be taken seriously as professionals.

Caroline

Being young, ambitious and female is not easy in the professional world. When PYP’s founders started our careers a few years ago, freshly out of college and newly moved to NYC, each of us felt – in her own way — very alone. Many hard lessons we learned in those first months could have been learned in an easier way. That’s where we hope PYP will come in.

Curious to learn more? Check out our site at www.prettyyoungprofessional.com, like us on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pypro, or follow us on Twitter @PYPro

This post was originally authored by Kathryn Minshew and Amanda Pouchot, co-founders of www.prettyyoungprofessional.com

 

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