Monroe-West Monroe

Business & Professional Women

History of BPW

Since 1919, BPW/USA has been the most powerful organization in the United States for working women. Although the organization has transformed over time, the legacy and vision remain intact.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.


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

We exist to help women like you advance their career goals.  We serve women in every profession and at every stage of their careers.  Our diverse membership has one common bond:  A desire to succeed.

Members of BPW are active, helping themselves and those around them find success in business as well as everyday life.  Networking with other ambitious, involved women can open doors, spark ideas, break down barriers, and provide endless amounts of support and encouragement.


Mission Statement

To achieve equity for all women in the workplace through advocacy, education, and information 


Our History

1919:  BPW Louisiana is founded. One of the original states included in the founding of BPW/USA.

1920:  BPW Monroe-West Monroe is founded.  


History of BPW/USA

BPW/USA was founded in July 1919. In the ensuing years, many important milestones have been achieved and BPW members played an important role in changes that have benefited working women.


1919:  BPW/USA is founded as an outgrowth of the U.S. Government's Women's War Council, with 600 established local organizations.  From its existence three major factors have shaped BPW's legislative agenda: elimination of sex discrimination in employment, equal pay, and the need for an equal rights amendment to the US Constitution.

1923:  Through the efforts of BPW/USA, the War Classification Act, establishing a uniform salary for each grade and class of work in the Federal Civil Service, in enacted.

1924:  "BPW Goodwill Tour" of Europe initiated the founding of the International BPW Federation.

1928:  BPW/USA established National Business Women's Week (NBWW) to celebrate and highlight the contributions of women to the work force.

1937:  BPW/USA is one of the first women's organizations to endorse the Equal Rights Amendment.

1940:  BPW/USA presses the War Department for equal pay for women called to do "men's jobs" as part of the civilian workforce.

1956:  BPW/USA establishes the BPW Foundation.

1963:  The first BPW/USA Legislative Conference is held in Washington, D.C.

1963:  President Kennedy recognizes BPW's leading role in passage of the Equal Pay Act by giving BPW/USA's President the first pen to sign the Act into law.

1964:  BPW/USA President Virginia Allan initiated the "Young Careerist" Program.

1972:  BPW/USA members are instrumental in the lobbying effort that passed Title IX of the Education Amendments banning sex discrimination in schools.

1985:  BPW/USA is largely responsible for geting the Equal Rights Amendment through Congree and to the States for retification.

1993:  BPW/USA grassroots members successfully lobby passage of The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA.)

2009:  Merger of BPW/USA and BPW Foundation under BPW Foundation.

2009:  The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act is signed into law.

Monroe-West Monroe Business & Professional Women

Website: bpwmonroe-westmonroe.org  Email: bpwmwmla@gmail.com


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