Business & Professional Women International (BPW International) was founded by Dr. Lena Madesin Phillips on August 26, 1930. The mission of this organization is to develop professional, business, and leadership potential of women through skill building, networking, and mentoring around the world.
The roots of BPW’s advocacy lie within the United Nations. BPW lobbied for the creation of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and since then have worked with UN Women, UN Global Compact, International Trade Center, and Global Summit of Women.
By working with BPW International, women are able to stay connected and informed about international events and projects. By exchanging information, experiences, and inspiration across countries, the goal is for all BPW chapters to experience positive growth.
As of 2018, BPW operates in 94 countries and the world-wide total of BPW members is over 25,000. These members include influential leaders, entrepreneurs, business owners, executives, and more. Similarly to BPWCR, many of these countries host and participate in Equal Pay Day as well as many unique events tailored to their individual area.
Every three years the organization picks an international theme. The current theme for triennium 2017-2020 is “Empowering Women to Realize the Sustainable Development Goals.” Women involved with BPW can promote sustainability within their own organizations, as well as joining projects that work to combat poverty, hunger, and inequality. BPW International is also working towards quality education, health, water and sanitation, energy, and peace. Countries collaborating with a common goal through BPWI allows for more projects to be completed and the mission of BPW to be achieved.
If you would like to learn more about BPW International, visit their page at