The BPW/MA legacy is one of longtime commitment to equality for all women. From our founding in 1921, we have stood together as working women to fight for equality in the workplace, the right to own property in our own names, the right of married women to work, parity in insurance rates, the right to equal educational opportunities and reproductive freedom. We continue our commitment in these areas and have strengthened our resolve to work for domestic violence prevention, social security reform, equal rights, pay equity, and to provide educational opportunities for women through both legislative and individual initiatives.
Membership in BPW brings many rewards but the most lasting and meaningful are the lifelong friendships. Through participation in the BPW activities and programs, you will form supportive friendships as well as important business relationships. There is nothing quite like the feeling you get in a roomful of powerful women all focused and energized on current issues and a common cause. Whether it is laughing together, working together, or lobbying together, BPW members know how to have fun and to get the job done!
BPW/MA Linked to a National Organization
BPW/MA began in 1921 as a state federation of BPW/USA. BPW/USA was founded in 1919 as a result of the need for a coordinated women’s effort during World War I. In July, 1919, the first National Convention was held in St. Louis, Missouri, and the National Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW) was established. The new federation went to work immediately. First, they sponsored the first national survey of business and professional women and their status. BPW was influential in passing the first child labor laws. In 1928 BPW established and which continues today the first “National Business Women’s Week” which honors the achievements of working women. BPW was the first among women’s organizations to formally endorse the Equal Right’s Amendment in 1937, and led the drive for ratification ever since. BPW has been a leader in passing legislation of our time, from the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Pay Act, to Title IX and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. In 2009, the members voted to merge BPW/USA with the BPW Foundation to continue its work to helping working women
History of Women Helping Women
BPW has a proud tradition of “women helping women.” In 1956, the members of the fifty state federations created the BPW Foundation to provide scholarships, research, information, and career development programs for workingwomen. Supporting the BPW Foundation helps other women upgrade their skills or return to the workplace while furthering workplace equity and work-life balance. Since 1969, the BPW Foundation has awarded almost $6 million in scholarships, research grants and loans.
A legacy partner of BPW Foundation