The International Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW
International) was founded by Dr. Lena Madesin Phillips in 1930.
Subsequently, the National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs of Great Britain and Northern Ireland was formed on 12th November 1938. The founder member clubs were the Westminster Club, the City of London Club and the Thames Club.
Beatrice Gordon Holmes was elected as the Founder President and served until 1947.
BPW International has become one of the most influential global networks of business and professional women with affiliates in 95 countries across five continents. BPW has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and participatory status with the Council of Europe. Its members include influential women leaders, entrepreneurs, business owners, executives, professionals and young career women.
"Make no small plans. They have no power to stir the blood" declared our founder, while touring the United States in 1921 as she was building the Federation. Since then BPW has grown into a truly global Non-Governmental Organization, recognised at the highest levels of civil society.
Today, BPW continues its representation at UN Headquarters in New York, Vienna, and Geneva; at UN regional offices (UNECA, UNECE, UNESCAP, UNESCWA, UNECLAC); at UNESCO, UNICEF, ILO, WHO, UNCTAD, UNIDO, FAO, and UN DPI; at the Council of Europe; and at the European Women's Lobby, and continues to work closely with UN Women (previously UNIFEM).