WEATHERFORD — When Charlsta Smith, a secretary for White’s Funeral Home, joined forces with a handful of other businesswomen to charter the Weatherford Chapter of the Business and Professional Women’s Organization in 1948, it was rather unusual to see women entrepreneurs or married women work outside the home.
Women who were in business needed all the support they could get.
Today, Smith is still an active member of the organization, now called Texas Business Women as of since last summer.
“The mission of the organization is to help promote women in the workplace, just like it was in the beginning,” said TBW President Kathy Smith, who is Charlsta Smith’s daughter. “It’s a great way for women to get together and network and give each other support.”
The Weatherford Chapter of Texas Business Women will host its first big event since the name change.
The event called "Power of the Positive Woman" is an annual fundraiser for the Texas Business Women of Parker County and will include vendors, a silent auction, door prizes, a fajita luncheon buffet catered by The Bakery & Sandwich Shop. All monies raised will go toward scholarships for women in the community.
The event’s title sponsor is Martin Crest Assisted Living and Memory Care Community. Other sponsors include The Bank, First National Bank of Weatherford, First Financial Bank, Brilliant Medical Boutique and Pulliam Pools.
“It’s a good program,” said Peggy Hutton, who is hosting the affair. “The purpose is to raise money for scholarships. From last year’s event, we were able to raise $5,000 so the organization can further the role of women in business. We’re very excited about the scholarships because they help young folks to brighten their future.”
Author Mae Hoover will be the keynote speaker.
“She and her husband were missionaries for 25 years in Northern Mexico,” Hutton said. “She is author of 'To Climb a Mountain' and 'The Journey to and from the Mountain.' She describes herself as a ‘laughologist.’ I asked her what that means and she said, ‘I make people laugh.’”
BPW/USA is a bipartisan organization with a view toward fostering the success of working women by providing career advancement resources, work/life strategies and personal and professional connections. Founded in 1919, it strives to achieve equity for women in the workplace through advocacy, education and information. The stated mission of BPW Foundation is "to empower working women to achieve their full potential and to partner with employers to build successful workplaces.”
The Texas organization broke from the BPW/USA and founded its own independent society called Business Women of Texas.
“There really hasn’t been anything much else to change,” Hutton said. “Our organization has the same purpose that it’s always had. We still strive for the success of businesswomen through educational and personal development. We do a lot of work with other causes that help women and others like Freedom House.”
"Power of the Positive Woman" will be held on March 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Central Christian Church, 1602 S. Main St. in Weatherford. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased from any TBW member or at the Weatherford Chamber of Commerce.
For information or to be a sponsor, call Peggy Hutton at (817) 613-6146.