LadiesIn.Biz - Business Women Forum


Active member
Couldn't sleep last night and, since I had one spare XF license, couldn't help myself but start a forum on it. It's called Ladies In Biz (have played with the domain extension a little - I have the .com too, will redirect it tomorrow to the site).

What's the plan?

I am a freelancer and a woman. Didn't plan on this, was raised to be a good employee, but got fired 3 years ago (well, the entire radio station was closed, so we were all fired). There wasn't any good job in the industry left and I didn't want to become a teacher (even if I did 9 years of specialty high-school/college), since my car payments were bigger than the salary :D

So, I turned to freelancing and stopped 'playing' webmaster. My web design hobby turned into a full time job. It was horribly hard at first, since I was in debt and started from zero (well, from minus, as I like to say), but in few months I started picking off speed).

It's been 3 amazing years, I've built a small profitable business, am traveling like crazy and earning more than I could ever imagine as an employee. I was able to tell my story in my blog and can say that few other people followed in my footsteps and are now freelancers.

Since many women lack the courage to start and don't have a good support system during those hard first months, I believe LadiesInBiz would prove to be of good use. It's now pretty empty (have tweaked some of the design), but will get 'animated' ASAP.

About the design. Wanted something VERY simple. If you see other of my designs, you know I don't like a 'forum like' look, it's too dated. So in this case I stripped XF of many bells and whistles and plan on continuing to do so. Will add some stuff in the sidebar, it's pretty empty now. Tomorrow, if I have the time, I plan on setting a decent footer and see what else needs tweaking. Ah, and custom icons.

Anyway, just wanted to give a quick preview:
Looking forward to your ideas and feedback.

Sadik B

Well-known member
Looks very nice and inviting. It's a very good idea and promising if you can attract a few hundred threads and some regular members.


Well-known member
This is a ridiculously beautiful and simple theme. Good job! I like that you took the time to customize your ads so that they match your site. My only suggestion of an addition to this awesome theme is to populate your sidebar with something.


Active member
Thank you both for your kind words. I will put 2 lists of articles and some 'sample' ads there, so that it's not as empty. And need to work on that footer I keep on planning.

el canadiano

Active member
Didn't plan on this, was raised to be a good employee, but got fired 3 years ago (well, the entire radio station was closed, so we were all fired).
That's being laid off, not fired. Being fired usually refers to something you did that cost you your job.

Good starter layout, I really like it, though it just needs a bit of work with the icons and stuff.


Active member
Have changed the style a little (well, a little more). Wanted to make it more minimalist than before (hope it worked out). I need to tackle some slight changes, but the overall 'wrapper' is like this:

Thank you for the support and the hints.


Well-known member
Dojo this is a great idea because there are issues being a businesswoman.
Some might say not, that to say so is victim talk. ome women think that as well as some men.
Well either there ARE barriers, or else there's a substantial number of women who feel like there are. Either way there's a place for your forum.

Speaking as an experienced businesswoman who has always mentored others into self employment ... my feedback and forgive being tough as it's the best way to be helpful.

1) My first reaction was great I'll join. Then I visited and was put off.
Why? Because I have a strong aversion to sharpshooters targeting me for their spammy adverts based on one of my ID categories. I think if anything I'm more antsy and self protective about being targeted as a female because I know damn well that's a vulnerability.
Your site looks bright, cartoony, Walt Disney cute ... designed to SELL me stuff. Packages. Software. Whatever - things that people slap a bit of pink on and a few flowery bits so they can sell to women. Gah!
If it could draw me in to feel that instead of being part of a kids cartoon, I'm being TAKEN SERIOUSLY I'd feel very different.

2) Be careful about pink. It's total stereotype obvious.
In actual fact it's a colour that people either adore or detest, without any position in between. So it's a high risk option.
Unless aiming at the girly my little pony age group, in my eyes it should be a colour used with great restraint, as lines, small touches only.
Additionally pink is a big part of the "exploit women" culture. It's used to sugar up all kinds of yuck that strong women (or wannabe strong women) loathe - being submissive, being endlessly supportive, second place, frilly and unimportant.

3) Taking me seriously. About the biggest thing thart women lack is being taken seriously. Pink culture and all its connections doesn't - and it extends a long way. We know that we often have to cooperate with it - get a man on the phone to say it for us because a male voice gets heard (SERIOUSLY) or else smile smile smile and smile some more - wear something pretty - pretend to be a bit or a lot less clever than you are so as not to frighten the horses.
So if women are to feel this is a place for US most of all it needs to treat us as adults, not Walt Disney cutesy pie dolls.
How about a glossary of business terms?
Decoding banks?

4) Women's strength and our weakness is feelings. We emote more, which can get in the way and create helplessness. But handled well emotion is a great resource for lightning fast insight into whether someone is trustworthy, whether I can take the strain/ risk, or how to workaround an obstacle.
Women need to get the message we can USE our feelings as a strength. But initially in the earliest stages feelings will be dominated by fear. You need a dedicated area for empowerment/ building confidence. Once I build my confidence I can do anything! The how is not difficult once my strength is up. TELL us that.

5) Special barriers. They do exist. From the partner who laughs ... won't do childcare ... left long ago or had to be kicked out so single mother ... to equipment deesigned for male muscles ... suppliers and clients who are rattled by dealing with a woman ... to more extreme cultures lacking Western equality ideas.
The biggest one is my own hidden doubts. Feminism won the battles so there's no prob, right? Wrong. This crap is still around and it's poison in MY head as well dammit. Not obvious because Ive been taught it's not there, but it is.
However that strength with emotions can be my ally. Where the guys deny self doubt and crash on it, the ladies can grit up and face it, then deal with it.

Best wishes.


Well-known member
I really like what you've done with all your forums. The styles you create are of professional quality, nicely laid out and place emphasis on the content. There's really nothing I can find to dislike or criticise (y)


Well-known member
I wonder why so many men want to sign up for a businesswomen's forum? Lots of them - maybe 50% and most don't have avatars.


Well-known member
Nice idea, but ugh on the pink and on the very light grey text against the white background. Way too many big adverts. Not a fan of having to scroll past four lines of adsense before the logo, followed by an adsense to the left as well as adyield adertising some foreign download site (from what I could tell). The icons are..... well.. tacky.. for a business forum. The whole style makes me think dating, not working. Sorry, Dojo :( As a businesswoman, I'd avoid registering on that one because it's far too fluffy looking.


Well-known member
What are the Download and Play (huge buttons) top of every page?
(there's no explanation)


Well-known member
It's an advert - via adyield - some dodgy filesharing site link I believe.
Yes I didn't click it to find out because it seemed weird/ dubious it did not to explain.

Shame. Nice idea. But it looks like it's just being used to herd people into being targets for ads.
The relative space used for content vs. ads makes it obvious.
May not be the intention of the admin but it sure looks like that.


Well-known member
No, I didn't click it either - I've noticed it on a few sites (usually through google searches and clicking on sites that I rapidly clicked away from) though and it just looks dodgy.


Active member
The ads are bidvertiser ads. I'll probably remove them, a bit too much for me too :)

As for the use of pink, didn't realize it's this offensive, in the end it's being present in the logo and the titles only. The 'selling' stuff is a 'call to action' destined to present the site in few words and entice people to join. Not selling anything but some (I say) good content and my own experience as a web design business owner.

Thanks for the comments though. :)