“Can you please go back to the Prius room? The women always help clean up after birthday celebrations.”
It was the first month of working for Toyota and we were having a birthday party—cake and candles bought from the bakery below our office–in a conference room entitled “Prius” for a colleague in my department.
When the celebration ended, one of my Japanese bosses had approached me at my desk and kindly instructed to help the other women clean.
Of course, that was in broken English. I returned to find that the men had already left and were back to work at their desks, yet the three women of the department were still cleaning up the plates and table.
“Are you kidding me?” I thought to myself. Fear set in as I realized it wasn’t personal, it was just the culture–gender was one of multiple adversities I would face and have to adapt to in my new work environment.
If only I had Pretty Young Professional to resort to for advice. The newly established website gaining rapid fame was initiated in New York by four co-founders in the early stages of their career to address the lack of resources for women in their transition from college to early adulthood.
Via the easy to navigate and stylish site, you can share stories, struggles, and solutions amidst online forums and the PYP blog. One of my favorite was ‘5 Tips for Working Abroad’. Naturally, I could relate. Subjects range from ‘How Not To Be THAT Girl At the Holiday Office Party’ to ‘MBA: Don’t Knock It ‘til You Try It’. The site has already attracted over 10,000 visitors from 106 countries, but the founders hope it will become much more.
“I envision PYP to be the go-to resource for professional advice for young women. Any question, I want PYP to answer it,” says one of PYP’s founders, Kathryn Minshew, who left her comfy consultancy role to follow this endeavor.
Regular comments from readers flourish and their new forum of discussion topics is blooming with young women, evidence that the need for such a community exists.
PYP has recently been republished in the Huffington Post and Forbes Women, gaining speed in the arena of gender and profession experts. This is confirmation that real experience can be turned into true value addressing a need of society.
Being the only Caucasian in a Japanese office, I was a minority, on top of being in a masculine run company, industry and profession. I was alone and unsure how to tackle such adversities. PYP is a platform that provides the opportunity for individuals with related issues to collaborate to avoid solitariness.