Rawls Women in Business, a female led student association was founded in 2013 and since has hosted a myriad of female icons of the business world.
It's purpose is to empower women in the business field as well as inform them on some of the experiences that women in business go through as females in a male-dominated field of study.
“So, what we do is we want to empower and kind of just help women have a support system, network system for the future and kind of provide guidance to them with our guest speakers,” Britney Juarez, president of Rawls Women in Business and a fourth-year double major in accounting and management, said. “And so, that's what we're really trying to build up. Rawls has done a great job this year of providing us with speakers. They had some high executives come talk to us last semester and tell us their struggles, how they went from like the very bottom to where they are now, and that's really helped everyone out.”
The Plainview native said these guest speakers, especially the female speakers, provide tips on how to professionally assert themselves as equals in business interactions.
The organization consists of around 75 to 100 members across many different colleges and many different demographics.
“Just because we're there at Rawls, I think there’s a common misconception that it is just for people who are in business,” Juarez said. “But actually, one of our officers isn't a Rawls major. And we always tell people like you don't have to be a Rawls major to join us, you don't even have to be a woman to join us like it's in the name but we honestly are open to anyone.”
One of the biggest issues the organization focuses on is discussing and bringing to light sexism in the business world.
It is not uncommon for women in their field to face instances of sexism in the workplace, Juarez said, therefore, they give advice on how to overcome and handle this issue.
“We’ve talked a lot about just the communication styles that are different between men and women,” vice president of Rawls Women in Business Natasha Allen said. “Men tend to be very, very light, very blunt when they communicate, whereas women say a whole lot more. Small things like if you wouldn't mind, if you if you have the time or any added prepositions or phrases, just to kind of soften the blow so that's been a big thing is like trying to figure out how to communicate effectively.”
The fourth-year finance student and Lubbock native said she felt she had imposter syndrome when she initially began in the business field, something that the organization has helped her overcome.
Allen said it is important to realize the skills that have led her to where she is. Regardless of any insecurities that come from being a female minority in business, she is just as qualified to be there as everyone else.
“If you walk into a room, and you know you have the skills,” Allen said, “Then there is no reason, to be intimidated where you are surrounded by a group of men or not. That is something that I have really taken to heart. You are just as qualified to be at the table as everybody, so there is no reason to doubt or to compare yourself as long as you know you have the skills.”
Some of the things Juarez said she would like to further implement is the idea of sisterhood and networking in order to emphasize the community they have established.
Allen said she would like to push the group to continue giving back to the community through volunteering and community service.
“It's kind of hard to get people to take you seriously when you're a woman,” Juarez said. “Like especially some people don't listen to me if I tell them they can't do something I have to get my male coworker to come in and talk to them. So that's kind of always hurtful. I guess to overcome it, it's just talking about it, keeping an open conversation with people and really guiding them to do their own research instead of me always telling them about our struggles. We want them to learn it themselves, and then keep an open conversation with us.”