TFS Scholarships Launches Online Toolkit to Provide College Funding Resources

Students going over paperwork seated outside

SALT LAKE CITY— TFS Scholarships (TFS), the most comprehensive online resource for higher education funding, has launched a free online toolkit to provide counselors, families and students with resources to help improve the college scholarship search process. The toolkit, available at, provides downloadable resources and practical tips on how to find and apply for scholarships.

The launch comes in celebration with Financial Aid Awareness Month when many families are beginning the FAFSA process and researching financial aid options.

“We hope these resources help raise awareness around TFS and the 7 million college scholarships available to undergraduate, graduate and professional students,” said Richard Sorensen, president of TFS Scholarships. “Our goal is to help families discover alternative ways to offset the rising costs of higher education.”

The resource toolkit includes flyers, email templates, newsletter content, digital banners and table toppers which are designed to be shareable content that counselors, students and organizations can use to spread the word about how to find free money for college.

The newly revamped TFS website curates over 7 million scholarship opportunities from across the country – with the majority coming directly from colleges and universities—and matches them to students based on their personal profile, where they want to study, and stage of academic study. By tailoring the search criteria, TFS identifies scholarships that students are uniquely qualified for, thus lowering the application pool and increasing the chances of winning. By creating an online profile, students can find scholarships representing more than $41 billion in aid. About 5,000 new scholarships are added to the database every month and appear in real time.

Thanks to exclusive financial support from Wells Fargo, the TFS website is completely ad-free, and no selling of data, making it a safe and trusted place to search.

For more information about Tuition Funding Sources visit


About TFS Scholarships

TFS Scholarships (TFS) is an independent service that provides free access to scholarship opportunities for aspiring and current undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Founded in 1987, TFS began as a passion project to help students and has grown into the most comprehensive online resource for higher education funding. Today, TFS is a trusted place where students and families enjoy free access to more than 7 million scholarships representing more than $41 billion in college funding. In addition to its vast database that’s refreshed with 5,000 new scholarships every month, TFS also offers information about career planning, financial aid, and federal and private student loan programs as part of its commitment to helping students fund their future. Learn more at


The Best Opportunities to Fund Your Business
Businesswoman analyzing finances

Are you looking to start your own business? Or maybe you’re already a business owner, but need additional funds to get your ideas in action? Whatever the case, there are numerous government and independently funded opportunities specifically designed for aiding women-owned businesses. Here are some of the ones that you should know about:


If you aren’t already a certified minority, women, veteran or LGBTQ+ business owner, then you’ll definitely want to consider obtaining one of these certifications. While many of these programs require a fee through the certification process, they offer funding, networking and business opportunities that wouldn’t be available to you outside of certification. They are also known for providing mentoring, workshops and resources designed to help your business. You are also able to earn multiple certifications from multiple organizations, depending on how you identify. Some of the most popular certification agencies include:

  • National Minority Supplier Diversity Council (NMSDC): For minority-owned businesses
  • Women Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC): For women-owned businesses
  • Disability:IN: For business owners with visible and invisible disabilities
  • Veteran Small Business Certification (VetCert): For veteran-owned businesses
  • National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC): For business owners who identify as LGBTQ+

Community Development Financial Institutions Fund

The Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI) is a funding program dedicated to helping lower-income and minority-owned business owners gain access to capital funding. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Treasury and has funded numerous Black businesses in the past.

Since its creation in 1994, the CDFI Fund has awarded more than $5.2 billion to CDFIs, community development organizations and financial institutions through: the Bank Enterprise Award Program; the Capital Magnet Fund; the CDFI Rapid Response Program; the Community Development Financial Institutions Program, including the Healthy Food Financing Initiative; the Economic Mobility Corps; the Financial Education and Counseling Pilot Program; the Native American CDFI Assistance Program; and the Small Dollar Loan Program. In addition, the CDFI Fund has allocated $66 billion in tax credit allocation authority to community development entities through the New Markets Tax Credit Program, and closed guaranteed bonds for more than $1.8 billion through the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program.

To be eligible for these, you will need to apply for one of the CDFI’s certification programs. For more information on how to access these funds, visit their website at

U.S. Small Business Administration

Each year, the federal government awards about 10% of all federal contract dollars, or roughly $50 billion in contracts, to small disadvantaged businesses. Through the Small Business Administration (SBA), you can register your business as a small disadvantaged business and be eligible to receive a portion of these funds. The SBA additionally offers opportunities with their HUBZone program, specializing in helping small business in urban and rural communities, and the 8(a) Business Development program, which provides managerial, technical and contractual assistance to small disadvantaged businesses to ready the firm and its owners for success in the private industry. To find out how to become eligible for these funds, visit

NBMBAA Scale-Up Pitch Challenge

Hosted by the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA), the Scale-Up Pitch Challenge is a competition designed to support wealth-building opportunities for Black business owners. The competition listens to the business ideas for startup organizations with the top three finalists awarded up to $50,000 in funding. Finalists in this competition have also gone on to gain success with investors and greater levels of exposure for their ideas. You must be a member of NBMBAA to compete, but you do not need to already be a business owner to compete. Visit for more information.

No matter how much money you’re looking for, how your business owners identify or what your business specializes in, you’re sure to find your next opportunity with Through this website, you can find applications for hundreds of different funding opportunities sponsored by federal agencies. is responsible for awarding more than $500 billion annually from over 20 federal agencies across the country. Additionally, is an amazing resource for application assistance, writing tips and scam prevention. To explore the database visit

Sources: U.S. Chamber, SBA,, CDFI, NBMBAA

Does Your Resume Pass the ATS?
Portrait of a young african woman holding resume document indoors

By Natalie Rodgers

You may be able to impress a hiring manager with your resume, but can you pass the ATS test? Over the last several years, many companies have begun using applicant tracking system (ATS) software to review resumes before they are given to an actual human. This software is designed to weed out the resumes with irrelevant experience and pass along the ones deemed applicable by a pre-determined system. Unfortunately, technology isn’t perfect and can discard your resume even if you’re an excellent fit for the position.

While there isn’t a foolproof way to ensure that your resume never gets discarded, there are things you can do to eliminate the chances of this happening. Here are some tweaks you can give your resume in order to pass the ATS test:

Apply for Qualified Positions

It can be tempting to apply for any and every job, even the ones you’re not qualified for. Unfortunately, if your resume shows that you are underqualified or overqualified for a position, it could be weeded out before an employer ever sees it. Make sure the resume you are submitting reflects not only the job qualifications but your experience. This doesn’t mean that you can only apply for jobs you’ve had experience in or that you have to match every detail of the job description perfectly, but you should stay in the realm of your experiences for the best chance to pass ATS and human reviewers alike.

You’ll want to limit yourself to only applying for several positions at one company. If a company you’re interested in is offering two positions you’re qualified for, then apply to both. Still, if you apply for multiple jobs with different qualifying factors, your resume may not pass ATS testing.

Use Keywords

In tandem with qualifications, you’ll want to use keywords in your resume that heighten your chances of passing ATS software. One of the easiest ways to do this is to review the job posting and include the listed hard skills in your resume. For example, if they’re looking for a candidate who is proficient in Microsoft Office and has experience with WordPress, you’ll want to state those two skills in your resume explicitly. You may even want to consider rewording your current resume to fit the exact terminology of the job posting, as some ATS software looks for resumes with that specific wording.

Keywords can also include specific licensing and certifications, full spellings of abbreviated terms (spelling out Bachelor of the Arts rather than stating BA), and even the job title of the position you’re applying for. These keywords should additionally be used in the correct context instead of being randomly thrown into your resume.

Format Your Resume Correctly

Make sure you’re submitting your resume using the specific format requested by the employer. Even with the correct terminology, sometimes resumes are defeated by confusing formatting. If there isn’t a particular format given, the safest option is to submit your resume as a Word document (.docx), as that format is most accurately processed by ATS software.

You’ll also want to keep the design of your resume simple. Design aspects often misread by ATS systems include graphics, text boxes, tables, columns, hyperlinks and headers and footers. While adding fancy borders and formatting can make your resume visually impressive, the composition can come through incorrectly on other computers and during ATS processing. Consider formatting your resume as a chronological, combination or functional resume and eliminate visual effects.

Sources: CareerOneStop, The Muse

Five Ways to Gain Work Experience
professional woman on smartphone

Most employers want to hire people with experience. But how do you get experience if you can’t get hired? It’s a classic bind.

One solution is to volunteer or do other unpaid work. You’ll gain skills and practical experiences. You’ll also gain references and a better understanding of your work preferences and talents. And all of those will improve your chances of getting hired.

Here are five types of unpaid (usually—sometimes you can get paid) work experiences:

Volunteer work

To volunteer actually means to work without being paid. There are opportunities to volunteer in every community, typically at nonprofit organizations and schools. You can gain skills like writing, childcare, teaching, coaching, fundraising, mentoring, sales, phone answering, organizing materials, construction, arts, and much more. Many organizations provide training to volunteer positions.

Get started by thinking about organizations you’d like to support. You can also search the Business Finder for businesses and non-profits in your area. Check organizations’ websites for volunteer opportunities,or call or email them directly.


An internship is a short-term job that can be paid or unpaid and gives students or job seekers experience in a real-world work environment. Usually if an internship is unpaid, it does provide some college or classroom credit. Internships are available in government, private businesses, and non-profit organizations. Interns, unlike volunteers, usually have a specific mentor or co-worker who helps them navigate the experience.

Apply for an internship through a college or high school internship office, by using an internship finder service, or by contacting the human resources office of a business directly. You can also use the Business Finder to locate companies and search their websites—or contact them directly—for internship opportunities.


Apprenticeships combine a full-time job with training—and prepare workers to enter in-demand careers. They are formal programs designed to provide affordable pathways to high-paying jobs and careers without the typical student debt associated with college. Apprenticeship opportunities are typically available in industries such as information technology, finance and business, healthcare, hospitality, transportation, and manufacturing.

To find apprenticeship opportunities that match your interests and skills, visit the new Apprenticeship Finder on—a one-stop source to connect career seekers, employers, and education partners with apprenticeship resources.

Job shadowing

Ranging from a few hours to a few days, job shadowing allows you to learn about the real, day-to-day work of an occupation by following someone as they work. You can arrange a shadow experience by asking to observe someone you know through your network, or requesting a contact through a professional association or school program. Read accounts of job shadow experiences.

School and community activities

You gain skills when you participate in clubs, sports, theatre, music, dance, parent organizations, religious affiliations, and other community activities. Include these on your resume. To develop skills in a specific area, join a group involved in that field. Find opportunities through school districts, community education, local arts groups, religious organizations, and the public library.

Source: Career One Stop

How to Draft Effective Workplace Policies
Management, meeting and a female business person talking to a professional male colleague at work

Whether you own a business that employs hundreds of employees or are running a company with one other person, it’s important to establish workplace policies. Though it’s not required for some small businesses to have written procedures on these policies, having them in place can provide a sense of protection for workers’ rights and serve as a reminder for what is and isn’t appropriate in the workplace.

From discrimination and harassment to accommodations and beyond, here is what you need to include when drafting your workplace policies:

General Non-Discrimination Policy

Under the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), it is illegal to discriminate against applicants and employees based off of certain characteristics. Creating a general, non-discrimination policy outlines what is required of leadership and the consequences that will follow should these rules be broken. Some important policies in your writeup should include the following facts:

  • That discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation or gender identity), national origin, disability, age (40 or older) or genetic information (including family medical history) is illegal and will not be tolerated. Provide definitions and examples of prohibited conduct as needed.
  • How employees can report discrimination.
  • How managers and other employees with human resource responsibilities must respond appropriately to discrimination claims.
  • The consequences for violating the non-discrimination policy.
  • Protection for those that report discrimination or patriciate in the discrimination investigation, to the greatest possible extent.

Harassment Policy

The harassment policy should cover the same rules, protections and consequences as the general non-discrimination policy, but with more emphasis on workplace harassment. Harassment is defined by the EEOC as unwelcome conduct that is based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, older age, disability or genetic information. To be unlawful, the conduct must create a work environment that would be intimidating, hostile or offensive to reasonable people. Offensive conduct may include, but is not limited to, offensive jokes, slurs, epithets or name calling, physical assaults or threats, intimidation, ridicule or mockery, insults or put-downs, offensive objects or pictures and interference with work performance.

Reasonable Accommodation Policy

A reasonable accommodation policy outlines the requirements for employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees or applicants with disabilities, medical needs or religious needs. There are a number of possible reasonable accommodations that an employer may have to provide in connection with modifications to the work environment or adjustments in how and when a job is performed, such as modified work schedules, accessible facilities, modifications in training and policies, and acquiring and modifying equipment. Matters of importance in this policy should include:

  • Specify that your business provides reasonable accommodations (changes to the way things are normally done at work) to applicants and employees who need them for medical or religious reasons, as required by law.
  • Identify and provide contact information for the individual(s) responsible for handling reasonable accommodation requests.
  • The requirement for managers to respond to such requests promptly and effectively.
  • How managers might legally deny an accommodation or provide an alternate accommodation if one is seen as unreasonable.
  • The privacy involved in documentation of medical files or additional information related to a needed accommodation.
  • How employees can report discrimination based on reasonable accommodations.

Leave Policy Tips

This policy describes the legalities for how employees must conduct themselves in the case they need to take a leave of absence from work due to medical or religious reasons. Guidelines in your leave policy should include:

  • Clarify that you will provide leave to employees who need it for medical or religious reasons, as required by law.
  • The required documents to request leave.
  • Require managers to respond promptly to leave requests.
  • If a prompt response is not possible, consider periodically updating the employee on the status of their request.
  • To prevent misunderstandings, consider recommending that decisions to modify or deny leave requests be explained to the employee.
  • Require that managers keep genetic information or medical information received as a result of a leave request confidential and in a separate medical file.

For more information on these policies and the rights of employees and managers alike, visit for more information.

Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Have You Considered a Job in Med Tech?
Black female pharmaceutical worker during research in laboratory.

There will always be a need in the medical field, especially as new technology arises. If you have a passion for helping others, becoming a doctor or nurse isn’t your only option. In fact, there are numerous jobs in med tech that you can pursue that will help enhance the next generation of healthcare. Here are some of the top jobs in med tech:

Nuclear Medicine Technologists

Average Salary: $78,760 per year

Nuclear medicine technologists prepare radioactive drugs and administer them to patients for imaging or treatment. They provide technical support to physicians or others who diagnose, care for and treat patients, and to researchers who investigate uses of radioactive drugs. They also may act as emergency responders in the event of a nuclear disaster. Nuclear medicine technologists also hold vast knowledge in the safety procedures, maintenance and preparation of radioactive drugs and equipment.

They typically need an associate’s degree in nuclear medicine technology to enter the occupation, but bachelor’s degrees also are common. Most nuclear medicine technologists also need to be certified from an accredited nuclear medicine technology program, such as the American Registry of Radiologic Technologies or the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification. Earning other certifications in CPR, nuclear cardiology and positron emission tomography may also be helpful in securing certain jobs.

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians

Average Salary: $75,380 per year

Diagnostic medical sonographers, cardiovascular technologists and technicians operate special equipment to create images or conduct tests. They work closely with physicians and surgeons, who view the images and test results to assess and diagnose medical conditions. Diagnostic medical sonographers, as their name implies, create images, known as sonograms or ultrasounds, that depict the body’s organs and tissues. Cardiovascular tech specialists create images and conduct tests involving the heart and lungs, and often have a specialty in operating EKG machines, catheters or similar equipment.

These careers typically need formal education, such as an associate’s degree or a postsecondary certificate. Employers may prefer to hire diagnostic medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists and technicians who have professional certification, or they may expect applicants to earn certification shortly after being hired. Certification is available from several organizations, such as the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers and the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. Licensing may also be required depending on the state you intend to work in.

Radiologic and MRI Technologists

Average Salary: $61,980

Radiologic technologists, also known as radiographers, perform x-rays and other diagnostic imaging examinations on patients while MRI technologists operate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners to create diagnostic images. Radiologic technologists are trained in the use of different types of medical diagnostic equipment. They may choose to specialize, such as in x-ray, mammography or computed tomography (CT) imaging. MRI technologists specialize in magnetic resonance imaging scanners, which use magnetic fields to aid physicians in medical problems.

Typically, an associate’s degree is needed for both of these positions. While only a few states require certification for MRI technologists, they do need to complete less than five years of experience in a related occupation, most often from working as a radiologic technologist. Radiologic technologists, however, do need to be licensed or certified according to their state’s requirements. To become licensed, technologists must graduate from an accredited program and either pass a certification exam from the state or obtain certification from a credentialing organization, such as the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.

Clinical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists

Average Salary: $57,800 per year

Clinical laboratory technologists (also known as medical laboratory technologists) and clinical laboratory technicians (also known as medical laboratory technicians) perform medical laboratory tests for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease. Both occupations perform tests and procedures that physicians and surgeons order. Clinical laboratory technologists and technicians set up, calibrate and maintain the microscopes, cell counters and other equipment they use. Maintenance includes troubleshooting, cleaning and testing sterility to ensure quality control. Technologists have more responsibilities related to overall quality assurance in laboratories than technicians do.

To become a clinical laboratory technician or technologist, both jobs require a bachelor’s degree in medical technology or a related life science, such as biology or chemistry. Specialized programs may be needed depending on what aspect of the field you choose to study. While it is not a requirement in every state, some states require laboratory personnel to be licensed or registered. A number of organizations offer certification, including the American Association of Bioanalysts, American Medical Technologists and the American Society for Clinical Pathology.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


How Minority-Owned Business Enterprises Can Thrive During High Inflation
Confident business woman standing with arms crossed

The National Minority Supplier Development Council sparks opportunities to the challenges minority businesses face

Minority-owned businesses (defined as businesses that are at least 51% owned by people of Asian-Indian, Asian-Pacific, Black, Hispanic or Native American descent) have been disproportionately affected by the inflation.

According to the NMSDC 2022 Minority Businesses Economic Impact Report, Black businesses are feeling a bigger impact as they only generated a 4.6% revenue increase from 2021.

While this has been a challenging year, we believe many minority-owned companies may possess the exact combination of innovation and creativity needed to not only survive the inflation but thrive during it.

If you’re a minority business owner struggling to keep your company afloat, here are a few tips, to help your company emerge from the pandemic and inflation stronger and more agile than ever:

  1. Diversify your suppliers: Rising costs and supply chain disruptions can impact your business. Consider diversifying your supplier base to mitigate risks and explore alternative sources for essential materials or services. NMSDC Supplier Diversity Program can increase companies competitiveness, drive innovation and create positive economic impact in the minority business enterprises we serve.
  2. Streamline Operations: Look for opportunities to improve efficiency and reduce waste within your operations. Implement lean methodologies, adopt automation where appropriate, and optimize your supply chain to minimize costs and maximize productivity. Integrating a lean philosophy into operations and standards seems to be a natural fit for NMSDC’s MBE community, which is using lean practices to be more innovative and responsive to customers.
  3. Invest in Technology: Leverage technology solutions to enhance productivity, improve operational efficiency, and gain a competitive edge. Explore customer relationship management (CRM) systems, data analytics tools, and other technologies relevant to your industry.
  4. Seek Financing Options: Scaling a business often requires additional capital. Explore financing options such as loans, lines of credit, or grants that may be available specifically for minority-owned businesses or through government programs. At NMSDC, we understand the challenges entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities face in accessing the necessary funding to start, grow, and sustain their businesses. To help address these challenges, NMSDC has launched The Growth Initiative which provides MBEs with the potential for substantial growth and with the opportunity to access equity capital, while retaining management and control. Also NMSDC offers the Capital Manager’s Program, which is the most comprehensive database of capital firms with an ethnic minority founder and/or a focus on the minority business ecosystem. Ultimately, this program, in conjunction with NMSDC’s current Growth Initiative, is about rapidly increasing the amount of capital available to MBEs and helping NMSDC get one step closer to its goal of $1 trillion in annual revenue for NMSDC-certified MBEs
  5. Networking and Collaboration: Engage with industry leaders and other minority business enterprises. Hailed as the largest minority business conference in the world, the NMSDC’s Annual Conference and Exchange provides minority business owners across the nation networking opportunities with over 5,000 corporate CEOs, procurement executives, supplier diversity professionals and leading minority business owners from across the nation. For more information visit:

About NMSDC– Founded in 1972, NMSDC is the longest-operating business growth engine for the broadest group of systematically excluded communities of color (Asian-Indian, Asian-Pacific, Black, Hispanic, and Native American), and our impact goes far beyond the supply chain. It’s about upward mobility for the emerging majority of Americans, an equal shot at participating in the American experiment of free-market capitalism and entrepreneurship. Our work is about correcting the unequal access to wealth-building opportunities.

Not Getting Interviews? Here’s What You Can Do
hiring candidate interviews group sitting in a row at an office

By Natalie Rodgers

For the last year or so, the job market has been especially difficult. The world is adapting back to a new normal in a post-pandemic workplace and the priorities of many companies are evolving and changing. Because of this, you’ll want to make sure your job search is in pristine condition to ensure the best chance of securing employment. Here are some easy things you can do to get noticed in the job market:

Proofread Your Materials

One of the simplest mistakes that can turn away potential employers is a lack of proofreading in your resume or cover letter. If either one of these documents is full of typos, incorrect information or grammatical errors, employers may be inclined to think that you don’t have an attention to detail or simply don’t care about the work you put forward. When you have finished writing your cover letter and updating your resume, don’t just send it off. Use spell check, read through your materials yourself and have another person go through your written work to check for errors. This process adds a few more minutes onto your job hunt, but can make all the difference when it comes to obtaining interviews.

Research Your Employer

It can be easy to just hit “submit” on an application with little regard for the details, but doing research on an employer can save you time and headaches in the future. Before sending off your application, make sure you understand what you could be getting yourself into. Read the job description carefully, do a quick Google search on the company itself and take a look at what past employees have to say about working for the company. This information will not only help you tailor your resume to look appealing to interviewers, but will save you the headache of getting a job that you don’t want or aren’t qualified to take on.

Fill in the Gaps

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in an abundance of unemployment, which may mean you have gaps in your resume. While most are understanding of this, having gaps in your resume may send the wrong message to potential employers. Rather than using a chronological resume format, consider using a functional resume that highlights skills and accomplishments over job history. You can also make notes within your resume or cover letter as to why the gaps exist.

If you took medical leave, paternity or maternity leave, or have another legitimate reason for unemployment gaps, make sure you include that information in your materials. These situations are often understood by employers and will not affect your chances of securing a position.

Ask for Feedback

A common frustration in the interview process is either receiving no notification or just a brief, impersonal email stating another candidate was chosen. If this is a common occurrence for you, ask for feedback on how you can improve in future interviews or why you were not selected for the position. Not all employers will provide this information, but the feedback that can come from those who do can be immensely helpful. Remember, you should always make sure to dress appropriately for your job interviews, maintain eye contact and answer the questions thoughtfully and thoroughly.

Keep Your Connections

Your network can be your biggest asset to securing employment. Reach out to past bosses, co-workers, professors or individuals who understand your work ethic to serve as references during the job hunt. Employers will often reach out for a second opinion to speak on your employment history, and having a trusted individual who understands your capabilities can greatly increase your chances of employment. These connections may even have access to job opportunities within their own companies they could help you secure by advocating for your qualifications.

The actual interview process can also be useful in securing networking connections. For example, it’s always a good practice to leave the interview on good terms, including writing a thank you note or email after it’s finished. Occasionally, a candidate will drop out after receiving an offer, which could spark an opportunity, or you may be remembered for a future opening.

Source: CareerOneSource

You Deserve to Be There: My Top 5 Tips for Women Majoring in STEM
three young adult women walking to class

By Katerina Freedman

Entering college as a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) major can be scary. You’re thrown into a new environment where the introductory classes are challenging and where you’re surrounded by tons of unfamiliar people.

Even less discussed, though, are the challenges women in STEM face. Female students make up a small percentage of STEM majors, including computer science — my own major.

As a whole, the STEM culture can be unwelcoming to women. According to a report by the American Association of University Women, women make up just 28% of the STEM workforce.

The gender gap is particularly bad in some of the fastest-growing and highest-paying jobs of the future, including many positions in computer science and engineering. This “boy’s club” culture often leaves women feeling like outsiders, leading them to drop out of STEM programs at alarming rates.

As a woman in STEM, I’ve faced impostor syndrome, unwelcoming environments, and blatant sexism — but I’ve learned how to succeed in spite of these barriers. Here are my top five pieces of advice for women majoring in STEM.

Tip 1: Know You Deserve to Be There

My first piece of advice is to understand you belong and that you deserve to be in that STEM class or STEM major just as much as anyone else does. Your peers might talk with incredible confidence, but it’s often puffy-chest hearsay, so don’t let that freak you out.

There can be a lot of pressure going into STEM as a woman. Although I grew up with an engineering background and initially felt confident in becoming a computer scientist, I developed impostor syndrome and attribute most of that feeling to the environment I entered.

In my first computer science class in college, only five out of 50 students were women, including myself. Despite knowing there was a lack of women in my major, I’d expected a ratio of 40 women to 60 men — not 10:90.

Moreover, I had peers, both with and without a computer science background, complaining about our projects and classwork being too easy — and here I was having to spend a lot of time finishing them.

“In my first computer science class in college, only five out of 50 students were women, including myself. … I’d expected a ratio of 40 women to 60 men — not 10:90.”

Another thing that affected my confidence was hearing comments like, “It’s really cool you’re doing computing as a woman.” Hearing this — when I felt my gender identity was not a factor in choosing my major — exacerbated my impostor syndrome even more. Perhaps I wasn’t smart enough or didn’t have the “right” brain for computing. Maybe I didn’t belong in this major.

My professor had told me that women tend to drop out of my school’s computer science program at a rate 150% higher than that for men, despite having equal or higher grades. At the time, I was ranked in the top 20% of my class and was consistently scoring 90-100% on the same projects my peers were averaging just 70-80% on. Despite that impostor feeling, I was doing well.

Women often feel the pressure to excel in order to feel like they belong, but it’s perfectly OK to perform averagely in class. If men can be average and still feel welcomed, you can, too. Most people are average!

It can be scary being in the minority, but you have earned that spot in class and should have the same opportunity to succeed, no matter your background or identity.

Tip 2: Find Allies

My second piece of advice is to get involved and find your people.

By far, the best decision I made at the beginning of college was to sit next to the other four women in my first computing class. Three out of five of us stayed in the computer science track, and our little-but-mighty support group was extremely helpful in those starting days.

I also joined a club called Association for Gender Inclusion in Computing. This group helped me find peers who used she/they pronouns, as well as other students from historically excluded groups who could understand the struggles of trying to survive the boys-club culture of STEM.

Lastly, I made many connections with people who didn’t experience sexism themselves — and who were even part of the problem unknowingly at times — but who were open to learning and changing to make the STEM culture more equitable, open, and welcoming.

Tip 3: Connect With a Faculty Member

Building a relationship with a trustworthy instructor is one of the smartest things you can do as a woman in STEM.

First off, most professors have spent time in the industry and have tons of connections. They can also provide great recommendation letters for work and school and are an excellent source for helping new students get involved in their STEM program.

Furthermore, your STEM professors can create a safe environment that lets you comfortably express concerns about sexism in your program. During my time in college, I had two professors I could tell my problems to. Both took action, whether it was to escalate an issue or make changes to how they were running their classrooms to be more inclusive.

Professors can be intimidating, but the best ones want you to succeed and will take measures to make sure your environment allows for that.

Tip 4: Report Sexism When You See It

If a student is making you feel unsafe or attacked based on your identity, report them. I was so nervous to report people at the beginning of my college career, thinking it was an overreaction or not worth anyone’s time.

But if another student is harassing you due to your identity, they are likely causing problems for others as well. This harassment can affect your grades and well-being, and you owe it to yourself and to others to put an end to it.

I once had a peer tell me I didn’t need to try in school and should stop taking up my professors’ office hours because every company would want me as a diversity hire, while he had to “actually work for that same position.”

This type of statement is invalidating to any student: being told your efforts will have nothing to do with any of your success down the line. Statistically, men are hired at higher rates than women and make up the majority of the STEM workforce.

So not only was what that student said completely sexist, but it was also false information he was helping to spread into the major’s cultural bias against women. Despite him telling me this multiple times a week, I convinced myself it wasn’t big enough to report, once again doing what women often do: making myself feel smaller to fit into men’s space.

“Not only was what that student said completely sexist, but it was also false information he was helping to spread. … I convinced myself it wasn’t big enough to report, once again doing what women often do: making myself feel smaller to fit into men’s space.”

I later learned this student spread a rumor that a friend of mine was sleeping with a professor for good grades. The professor frequently met with my friend during office hours, and she had one of the highest grades in the class.

But instead of simply assuming she was a hardworking student, he labeled her “too stupid” to earn such results. My friend had the same mindset as me at the time, so she didn’t report him. We both still regret that.

Years later, I told a faculty member about these interactions in a discussion about the sexism women have experienced in our computer science program. They, too, regretted that we didn’t report these people.

You might run into men like this student I dealt with, and even if you convince yourself the problem is small and more annoying than hurtful, it’s best to let a professor know. Most faculty members don’t want people like that destroying their STEM program.

And if you have a problem with a professor, you can and should report them as well. Most programs offer anonymous reporting so students can report without unintended consequences. It’s almost always better to report and risk having nothing come of it than to regret letting people get away with such sexist behavior.

If you have a story to tell, learn what the process looks like and how to write it.

Tip 5: Don’t Burn Yourself Out Trying to Educate Everyone

My last piece of advice is to avoid trying to educate everyone on their oppressive behavior. It’s a learned skill to recognize who will be responsive and willing to make changes — and those who will not.

During my first couple of years in college, I’d call out everyone on passive and blatant sexism, especially in the presence of other women. In retrospect, I should have reported or ignored the people saying these things in most situations.

Unfortunately, hearing sexist statements is a daily occurrence in many STEM programs. Disguised as encouraging, many of these statements are rooted in internalized misogyny. This verbiage contributes to much of the impostor syndrome experienced by women.

All this is to say, put your studies first — it’s not your job to educate everyone on how to not be sexist. Taking the time with allies to understand the issues and encouraging them to call others out on their sexist behavior can help bring about a cultural shift. But trying to educate individual students is not any one person’s job and can burn you out fast.

Ultimately, school comes first. Making use of clubs and other organizations for mass education may be more effective in helping to build a better, more inclusive STEM culture for women.

Explore more college resources at

Saundra B. Curry Honored As 2023 Women Of Influence Winner By Nashville Business Journal
Saundra B. Curry headshot

Saundra B. Curry, co-founder and chief operating officer, BC Holdings of Tennessee, LLC, was recently honored as one of the Nashville Business Journal’s 2023 Women of Influence in the Entrepreneur of the Year category. The annual Women of Influence awards luncheon was held on April 25th at Nissan Stadium for a sold out crowd of nearly 400 attendees.

Curry was selected for this honor due to her commitment to financial education and creating the company’s innovative online platform, Destination: Financial Wellness (DFW). She has a proven track record impacting thousands of employees in federal government, higher education and corporations to improve their financial wellbeing and to build wealth. Curry also served in numerous leadership roles on nonprofit boards and committees throughout the years including Yancey Thigpen Foundation, Eddie George Visions with Infinite Possibilities Foundation, Chris Sanders Foundation, Sister for Sister Foundation, Oasis Center, Jump$tart Financial Literacy Coalition, Nashville Business Incubation Center, Tri-State Minority Supplier Development Council and National Coalition of 100 Black Women among others.

Prior to founding BC Holdings of Tennessee, Curry spent two decades in the financial services industry to include serving as a licensed investment advisor. Her efforts led to being appointed the relationship manager for the Tennessee Titans and Nashville Predators where she developed financial wellness and awareness programs for individuals and business clients. Curry earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and an Executive MBA from Vanderbilt University, Owen Graduate School of Management.

“I’m honored and humbled to be selected as a Woman of Influence,” says Saundra B. Curry, co-founder, BC Holdings of Tennessee. “Our mission is to improve the financial wellbeing of others through education and empowerment to build intergenerational wealth. As one of the first African American investment advisors in Nashville, I do not accept this award alone. I honor the blood, sweat and tears of my female ancestors. Without them, there would be no me.”

“We’re incredibly proud of Saundra and her commitment to improving the lives of others through financial education,” says Sidney T. Curry, co-founder and CEO, BC Holdings of Tennessee. “Her daily essence catapults each of us to the highest professional achievement. Her leadership, vision and community involvement raise the bar in financial wellness. We congratulate Saundra on this well-deserved recognition.”

To learn about DFW and BC Holdings of Tennessee’s online workforce training, contact Apryll Adams at [email protected] or 615-826-7861. Read more about Saundra here.

About BC Holdings of Tennessee, LLC

Founded in 2001, BC Holdings of Tennessee, LLC is a nationally certified MBE, SDVOSB and 8(a) firm providing full service financial educational and wellness for workforce training and development. The company educates and empowers employees to create pathways towards self-sufficiency and financial independence. Their proprietary online platform, Destination: Financial Wellness, earned national accreditation by the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training. BC Holdings has partnered with more than 125 clients across federal government, higher education and corporations. Learn more at

300+ Major U.S. Companies Voice Opposition to Anti-Equality Legislation
skyscraper lit up at night in LGBT colors

Recently, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, announced that more than 300 major U.S. companies have spoken out against attacks on the LGBTQ+ community by signing on to HRC’s business statement on anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.

The list of signatories, which has grown by 50% since the beginning of 2022, presents a unified message that anti-equality legislation is also anti-business, underscoring that assaults on LGBTQ+ rights contradict U.S. public opinion and decades of progress in the workforce.

The business letter was launched in 2020. But now, just three months into the year, 2023 is already on track to be a record-setting year of anti-LGBTQ+ attacks at the hands of state legislators throughout the country, with most of them targeting transgender people, particularly transgender youth. So far in 2023, HRC is tracking more than 460 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced in statehouses across the country. More than 190 of those bills would specifically restrict the rights of transgender people, the highest number of bills targeting transgender people in a single year to date.

“The LGBTQ+ community is in a state of emergency, and silence is no longer an option. We’re grateful that more than 300 companies are standing up for their LGBTQ+ employees and customers against a backdrop of extremist attacks and disinformation. Together, these businesses are sending a message that being anti-LGBTQ+ is bad for business, and that they do not want their employees or customers to have to choose between living and working in a state where they can provide for their families or a state where they, or their LGBTQ+ children, can live without fear.

We encourage companies to continue working with leaders in their communities to stop anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination, which does nothing but discourage a strong business climate.”  – Kelley Robinson, Human Rights Campaign President

Business leaders consistently report that they have difficulty with recruitment, retention, and tourism in states that debate or pass legislation that excludes LGBTQ+ people from full participation in daily life. These policy fights negatively impact businesses operationally and financially, and needlessly put the safety and wellbeing of their team members and their families at risk.

So far in 2023, HRC is tracking more than 460 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced in statehouses across the country. More than 190 of those bills would specifically restrict the rights of transgender people, the highest number of bills targeting transgender people in a single year to date.

This year, HRC is tracking:

  • More than 110 bills that would prevent trans youth from being able to access age-appropriate, medically-necessary, best-practice health care; this year, nine have already become law in Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, South Dakota, Utah, Iowa, Georgia, Kentucky and now West Virginia.
  • More than 25 bathroom ban bills filed,
  • More than 110 curriculum censorship bills and 40 anti-drag performance bills.<>

Continue on to read the Business Statement posted on





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Upcoming Events

  1. City Career Fairs Schedule for 2023
    September 27, 2023 - January 23, 2024
  2. Small Business Expo 2023 Business Networking & Educational Events Schedule
    September 27, 2023 - July 16, 2024
  3. 2023 Global ERG Network Conference
    October 11, 2023 - October 13, 2023
  4. 2023 Global ERG Network Conference
    October 11, 2023 - October 13, 2023
  5. National Women’s Business Conference–2023
    October 15, 2023 - October 17, 2023
  6. AFWA – 2023 Women Who Count
    October 23, 2023 - October 27, 2023
  7. AFWA Women Who Count Conference
    October 25, 2023 - October 27, 2023
  8. 2024 Women Presidents Organization (WPO) Entrepreneurial Excellence Forum
    May 15, 2024 - May 17, 2024

Upcoming Events

  1. City Career Fairs Schedule for 2023
    September 27, 2023 - January 23, 2024
  2. Small Business Expo 2023 Business Networking & Educational Events Schedule
    September 27, 2023 - July 16, 2024
  3. 2023 Global ERG Network Conference
    October 11, 2023 - October 13, 2023
  4. 2023 Global ERG Network Conference
    October 11, 2023 - October 13, 2023
  5. National Women’s Business Conference–2023
    October 15, 2023 - October 17, 2023