Periodically, media research checks in on women to see how they interact and engage online. This week, AOL, in partnership with Bovitz Research Group, released the findings from an industry study it commissioned in an effort to identify determining factors that influence women's choices when it comes to consuming and sharing online content.

Women Tied to Email, Trusted Networks

Women’s habits aren't dramatically advanced, as it turns out. Email is still the number one method (62%) that women use to share information with their network, while only 34% use social networks. Regardless of the platform through which they share information, the report shows that women only share information they gather from someone they trust.

But these two qualities don’t do justice to women, who have varied interests, experiences and access to information online. Researchers segmented their findings into three distinct roles: Social Expressionistas, Alpha Trendsetters and Shopsessives. (At least they didn’t use the word diva.)

Three Ways Women Share, Innovate, Lead Online

The descriptive titles speak for themselves, but do indicate that there are difference between women who use the Internet to communicate, shop or promote themselves and their professional brand.

For instance, Social Expressionistas look to social networks for inspiration and information, while Alpha Trendsetters seem to be more likely to seek out online platforms to innovate the way they work and play. Shopessives, on the other hand don’t go online in search of wisdom -- instead they go online to bring their expertise to others, whether it’s where to find the best deal in town, or to provide support for working moms.

Though the survey captured only a snapshot of women on the web, it does shed light on the different ways women share information in general. Transparency, incentives and support all play an essential role in helping women to engage. Yet, as we know – when you provide all three, the benefits to business are exponential.