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BPW/USA History

The National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs was founded in July 1919. While mobilizing for World War I, the U.S. Government recognized the need for a cohesive group to correlate women's skills and activities. A Women's War Council was established by the War Department to organize the resources of professional women.

Throughout the year, three major issues shaped BPW's legislative agenda:

  • Elimination of sex discrimination in employment
  • The principle of equal pay
  • The need for a comprehensive equal right amendment.

1920's BPW Goddwill Tour of Europe initiated the founding of the International BPW Federation. National Business Women's Week was first celebrated to dramatize the contribution of women to the country.

1930's BPW lobbied hard and successfully to remove legislative language the permitted job preference of the unmarried or in the case of a married couple, preference for the husband.

1940's At the advent of World War II, BPW developed a classification system fro women in critical specialist. It supported the formation of women's branches in the Armed Forces.

1950's As BPW became more active in legislative issues, the national executive office was moved from New York to Washington. The BPW Foundation was incorporated in 1956.

1960's The establishment of Status of Women Commissions in the U.S. in 1963 was largely due to BPW efforts. Lobby Day and Young Careerist were established.

1970's BPW intensified its efforts to eliminate discrimination based on sex and marital status in credit, finance and insurance.

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The NYSWomen team is available to answer questions from the media or to arrange interviews with Officers, Directors, or leading women business owners from across the country.

For questions or interview requests, contact our Media Relations Department:
pr@nyswomeninc.org