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Woman power: WBPA defies gender roles in business

BY JORI AYERS

The Women Business Professionals Association (WBPA), founded at UT two years ago, is an organization on campus that recognizes the status of women in the business area and the obstacles they face. Its mission is to empower women in the workplace and as well as help them feel comfortable and confident before going out to the workplace.

Veronica Scarlett Lopez, a senior international business and marketing major, and current president of the organization, says that she is proud that this organization exists on campus.

“I’ve always been that type of person that’s just like, ‘justice is finally rising all around the world’ and we really need to start speaking up about it and fighting for it,” Lopez said. “One of those things is feminism. Women rising and with all this movement I think it’s important to start speaking up about it in schools and universities.”

WBPA discusses the problems women are facing in the career world along with feminism and equality at workshops with events such as “How to Dress to Impress” and “From a Woman’s Perspective.”

“We just want to get the voice out that there is a problem with equality in the workplace,” Lopez said. “You know, women are not going to for those CEO positions, they’re not leaning into those conversations at meetings and the pay gap between men and women is a huge difference. So we want people to know and we want to open up that conversation within students on campus.”

WBPA is currently working on bringing more members in and and making it their top priority this semester.

Sydney Anderson, junior international business and marketing major and student engagement leader of WBPA says that building up membership is one of their goals.

“Our numbers are really low and I would like for there just not be the board but there to be actual members that want to come in,” Anderson said.

The WPBA doesn’t have a set meeting schedule and rather focuses on conducting workshops and events. In efforts to gain more members, one of the organization’s idea is speaking with Café con Tampa, a non profit organization that holds community forums to discuss important issues facing Tampa Bay. Lopez believes that the organizations possess similar core values, as the WBPA such as their commitment to gender equality in the workplace.

During their workshops and events, the club has guest speakers come in and speak on their experiences, as well as on how to dress, act and what to expect in the career field.

Monica Rollano, a junior international business and entrepreneurship and vice president of operations agrees that the speakers who come in give helpful advice and have taught her a lot that she didn’t know about the business world.

“Last semester we had a speaker that came to teach about dressing appropriately in the field,” Rollano said. “You think you know how to dress for interviews but I don’t think people really understand how to and that’s what she taught us.”
If you are interested in joining The Women’s Business of Professionals you can contact the president Veronica Scarlett Lopez at veronica.lopezmartin@spartans.ut.edu or VP of Membership, Alejandra Prado alejandra.prado@spartans.ut.edu.

For more information you can contact Jori Ayers at jori.ayers@spartans.ut.edu

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