The 2021 Student Engagement Awards were held on March 29. These awards honored 13 student organizations and 13 student leaders who have left their mark on campus. One of the awards for Commitment to Virtual Programming was awarded to Women of Haslam.
Founded in the fall of 2019, Women of Haslam is a female-led student organization in the Haslam College of Business. Their mission is to, “provide educational and business networking connections that support, enrich and inspire women to develop professionally and personally,” according to their VoLink page.
The organization meets twice a month and hosts various networking events and educational workshops. The group brings together women from many different majors in the College of Business, as well as non-business majors.
Women of Haslam is led by President and 2021 Torchbearer Award recipient Taylor Boyer. Boyer and Vice-President Sarah Lochridge discussed the organization’s goals, membership benefits and their personal experience with the organization as well as the rewards and impacts of starting a successful student organization.
“We really think that everyone needs business skills regardless of their major,” Boyer said. “Not everyone has the opportunity to be a business minor or to take business classes, so we really try to provide the skills that we think are applicable to everybody in every profession.”
The group brings in many companies from different industries, offers resume workshops and even helps their women learn how to properly shake hands in the professional setting. They also aim to expand the skills that members already have.
“We really try to grow our members professionally and personally and allow them to grow in their own leadership styles,” Boyer said.
Goal setting can be an important step for new organizations, and Women of Haslam is no exception.
“I hope that all members feel the same level of support and community that I have,” Lochridge said. “This organization has truly been an amazing experience and has connected me to so many strong and intelligent women both on and off campus.”
Boyer also mentioned the pandemic and how she wants it to affect the student organization in the long run.
“Some big goals that we have are increasing membership and making sure that we are providing opportunities for those who want to be in person versus online,” Boyer said. “We also really want to take our learnings from the pandemic and not see it as a negative space in Women of Haslam’s history, but (instead) see it as a space that we can learn something from.”
As the group continues to grow and members come and go from the university, Lochridge hopes that their lives have been changed by Women of Haslam.
“I hope that members have the confidence to go out into the world and accomplish great things,” Lochridge said. “I hope that Women of Haslam gives them the confidence they need to be successful in anything they encounter.”
Women of Haslam welcomes new members throughout the entirety of the year. They meet twice a month on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. More information can be found on Instagram @womenofhaslam or at their VoLink page.