International Federation of Business and Professional Women

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International Federation of Business and Professional Women (or BPW International) is a worldwide organization committed to networking among and empowering women worldwide. BPW International serves as a forum for professional business women with branches in over 100 countries with a membership of over a quarter of a million, developing the professional, leadership and business potential of women on all levels through advocacy, mentoring and skill building. Their economic empowerment programs and projects around the world promote equal participation of women and men in decision-making roles at all levels. BPW International has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and participatory status with the Council of Europe.


The International Federation of Business and Professional Women gathers and offers the views of business and professional women to world organizations and agencies. BPW International promotes its objectives without distinction as to ethnicity, race, religion or political beliefs. Their mission statement is:

Knowledge is power. Power is a means of influencing future policies. Policies affect the lives of women, men and children. IFBPW works to develop a comprehensive framework of structures to provide the necessary education, training and opportunities for women to achieve economic independence and assume their rightful place in work and business, the professions, in politics and in all decision-making processes. IFBPW is the organization for business and professional women.[1]

According to their website, members of local, regional and national clubs are to take an active role as professional women "in the economy, politics and society." They are to work on behalf of professional women everywhere, especially in the roles of mentoring and lobbying. The organization has a close relationship with the United Nations as well as other international organizations in their work to advance the role of women.[2] The organization has many publications documenting their work.[3]

Vision statement[edit]

"To achieve a just and equal status for women in all levels and areas of society where decisions are taken in true partnership with men, based on mutual respect, for a more balanced and peaceful world."


The International Federation of Business and Professional Women was founded in Geneva, Switzerland, on August 26, 1930, by Dr. Lena Madesin Phillips of Kentucky. As President of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs of the United States of America, Phillips had organized several trips to Europe in 1928 and 1929 to network with business and professional women in Europe. Hundreds of American clubwomen participated in these "Goodwill Tours" and the movement was born. The founding member countries of the BPW International were Austria, Canada, France, Great Britain, Italy and the United States of America. Dr. Phillips was elected as the first president of BPW International and served until 1947. In 1933 Dr. Phillips served as president of the International Council of Women which was held in conjunction with the Chicago World's Fair.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Italian Federation of Business and Professional Women. "IFBPW Mission". Retrieved 30 January 2011. 
  2. ^ BPW International. "BPW Aims and Ambition". Retrieved 30 January 2011. 
  3. ^ See the long list of publications on WorldCat.

Further reading[edit]

  • Deakin, Phyllis A. (1996). The History of the International Federation of Business and Professional Women. two (2nd ed.). London: International Federation of Business and Professional Women. ISBN 0-9526-6042-3. 
  • Kwolek-Folland, Angel (1998). Incorporating Women: A History of Women and Business in the United States. New York: Twayne. ISBN 0-8057-4519-X. 
  • Sterne, Emma Gelders; Ginsberg, Marie; Rasmussen, Essy Key; International Federation of Business and Professional Women (1943). Blueprints for a Sparkling Tomorrow: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream. New York, New York: International Federation of Business and Professional Women. 
  • Zophy, Angela Howard, ed. (1990). Handbook of American Women's History. New York: Garland. ISBN 0-8240-8744-5. 

External links[edit]