History

Suffragists parade down Fifth Avenue, 1917.

Suffragists parade down Fifth Avenue, 1917. Advocates march in October 1917, displaying placards containing the signatures of more than one million New York women demanding the vote. Credit: The New York Times Photo Archives 

 

 

History of Business and Professional Women (BPW)/USA

While mobilizing for World War I, the U.S. Government recognized the need for a cohesive group to coordinate identification of women’s available skills and experience. A Women’s War Council, financed through a federal grant, was established by the War Department to organize the resources of professional women. The National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs was founded on July 15, 1919. The organization later filed to do business as Business and Professional Women/USA (BPW/USA). BPW/St. Petersburg-Pinellas was founded in 1966 to carry forward the BPW mission.

Throughout the years, three major issues shaped BPW/USA’s legislative agenda: elimination of sex discrimination in employment, the principle of equal pay, and the need for a comprehensive equal rights amendment.

BPW/USA merged with BPW Foundation in 2009. For more BPW/USA history, click here.