Mentors in the Making


SCC now has a stage for women to get a leg up in business.

Last November, after all of the incidents with the #MeToo movement, SCC faculty member Kyle Winslow introduced the idea for the Women in Business Club to students Judy Kuguru, Raven Thompson and Meredith Easton Brown.

Winslow said that she found many issues that needed to be addressed related to women, for instance sexual harassment, sexual assault and the women’s voices not being heard.

“The more women we have in powerful positions, the less problems we have with sexual harassment and sexual assault,” Winslow said.

Winslow was a member of a Women in Business Club back when she was an undergraduate in Massachusetts.

She also found out that at the UW’s Foster School of Business, the club with the largest membership is their Women in Business Club, and said she “thought SCC should have one as well.”

“I just felt that there was a need and so I recruited three students to start,” Winslow said. These three students were Kuguru, Thompson and Brown.

Thompson, the secretary of the club, said after they were given the idea, they started planning immediately to make this club happen. “By the time winter quarter came around, we all were on board and we wanted to do it and we set a meeting for the first week of the quarter to just start running with it. It’s been four weeks,” she said.

Patricia Pals, one of the club’s social media officers and the event coordinator, said that Kuguru, who is now the president of the club, wanted to create a club for women.

“So we have the space to bounce, get ideas and to help each other to learn more about becoming a businesswoman,” Pals said.

“It’s really hard to start a club,” Thompson said, “in the sense of getting the right people together, coming together in one mind of what’s the purpose here, what do we want to accomplish and then keeping us on track.”

Despite the difficulty, it’s a good experience for the students who want to learn how to manage an organization, according to Thompson. This process can provide students with premium job skills when they jump into the workforce.

The club currently has 30 members. These 30 people came from the club kick-off event. The mission statement of the club is “the empowerment of women as entrepreneurs and business professionals.” Thompson said that the purpose of the club is to deliver that through mentorship to all the members, and any students who attend the workshops they put on.

The officers’ desire to help their members and the students get a good job in the field they want. That is why the officers intend to provide workshops to help people get started with the tools they need: networking, resume development and interview skills.

They are also sourcing other professionals for workshops, internships, networking and providing events or activities that would enable the members to have a chance to network or practice networking.

Their first event was on Tuesday, Feb. 13. At this event, they had a workshop to learn about networking and creating their own business cards, according to Winslow.

Pals said that the club has an upcoming field trip on Feb. 21 to a local coffee shop on Greenwood Avenue, Makeda & Mingus. As the event coordinator, she chose this place because the business owner is originally from India.

“When she started her business, she started it with an idea that she implemented and she had no experience with running the business,” she said. “I thought it would be good to bring our members there to see how a woman of color empowered herself and pushed herself into running a very successful business.”

The club is going to support the business owner by buying coffee and tea.

“She’s going to give us about half an hour of conversation about what it was like to start a real business,” Winslow said.

Patsy Torres, one of the social media officers, said this goes back to the one of the main ideas of the group, which is to learn not just from the people inside the group but also take field trips and explore more outside of the group.

The club has a plan to start with small events, like a women-based talk, similar to TedX.

“We are thinking about either trying to team up with TedX and do an event on campus, or we can host our own event that will be similar, based on women and business,” Pals said.

“(The club) is open to all students, if males want to participate in some way, they are certainly welcome,” Thompson said.

If you are interested in joining the club, the meetings are from 11.30-12.30 p.m. on the first and third Wednesdays of the month in Room 9201 of the PUB.

By Davira Shaffena,
Ad Manager