Triad Women’s Club (TWC) is a spinoff of the former Professional Women of Winston-Salem, which has been in existence since 1990. PWWS evolved over the decades as the desires of its members changed and TWC is the newest evolution. Erika Mielke (Program Chair) and Jobana Semones (Marketing Committee) shared that the sun-setting of PWWS and subsequent launching of Triad Women’s Club was a very intentional process based on questions they asked about what women wanted from an organization like TWC today. The responses revealed there was a desire for professional women to be involved, but concerns over current work status and inability to make a monthly luncheon meeting commitment made it clear it was time to move in a new direction.
The term “professional” (PWWS) didn’t seem to fit the status of many who temporarily stepped aside from working to stay at home, homeschool their children, or go back to school to make a career change. These women have been in phenomenal careers with much to offer (and plan to re-enter the workplace in time) but find it challenging to keep the network going in the meantime. Retired women, too, have much to contribute and share with younger members about work/life balance, understanding how motherhood affects a career, etc. Our decision was feedback-driven, and our goal is to tear down barriers and provide a space for every woman. PWC provides a more inclusive, accessible pathway for former, current, or soon-to-return to the workplace professional women and the organization’s new name reflects that goal. Triad Women’s Club also boasts a fresh new color palette, logo, website, and a slogan that encapsulates the breadth and depth of TWC’s mission: To cultivate and nourish authentic relationships among dynamic women across the Piedmont Triad
The impetus for making the change is due in part to the necessary adjustments, and in some cases, the complete overhaul of the way professional women live and work during the pandemic. COVID has caused women to reevaluate how they spend their time, reassess what they consider valuable, and reprioritize their lives in recognition of the fact that they have more demands on their time than ever before. Offering an avenue that best serves the unique needs of professional women during this unprecedented time and maximizing the impact of what TWC wants to do moving forward is no small feat. And yet, Triad Women’s Club has stepped up to answer the call for an organization that is relevant, accessible, and forward-thinking!
- Quarterly breakfast meetings with monthly wine nights in between
In response to requests from those who want to be part of the organized PWWS lunch meetings but have a hard time breaking away from work to do so, TWC is shaking things up a bit. The meetings with featured speakers will be held on a quarterly basis and take place over breakfast; a decision that has been met with high approval by working professionals. TWC, always an advocate for the local community, will highlight different closely held providers (preferably female-owned) as the breakfast caterers. Repeatedly, women have expressed a desire for more time to mingle and chat – not in a pipeline feeder, networking manner, but in a way that they can have deeper, more meaningful conversations. A quarterly breakfast meeting does not provide the time required to build and grow such relationships, but a gathering at the end of a workday talking over a glass of wine at SWAP (Socials with a Purpose) certainly does!
- No annual membership dues
Triad Women’s Club no longer requires a $99 membership. Instead, each woman pays for breakfast ($15.00) at the quarterly meetings and for her tab at the monthly wine nights. Moving away from the annual fee is a value-added change that affords greater accessibility to the plethora of benefits awaiting TWC members. The “pay as you go” feature demonstrates the commitment to change the complexion of the organization to better serve the unique needs of the professional women and allows members to determine what/when they wish to participate.
There is one very significant PWWS remnant…the scholarship fund that began in 2000. The scholarship supports single mothers seeking to complete their education while juggling the demands of family, work, and school. Corporate sponsorships make this annual scholarship possible and showcases the promise of TWC to promote, support, and honor women through professional and personal growth, and development opportunities.
To learn more, visit the Triad Women’s Club Facebook page: @TriadWC.