Business and Professional
Women of Maryland

"Women Helping Women Succeed"


BPW/USA expanded its '90s "Making Workplaces Work" initiative to the "Working Family Values" Program, and more recently, the theme of "Workplace Equity & Work-life Effectiveness," with education and awareness focusing on pay equity, dependent care, workplace flexibility, and social security reform. BPW/USA initiated "The Women & Social Security Summit" in February 2001 and coalesced with the National Council of Women's Organizations, OWL, National Council of Negro Women and American Association of University Women, to focus on one specific issue during our annual "Lobby Day"- keeping social security a guaranteed part of retirement.


BPW/USA continues to be branded as the premiere grassroots organization addressing the wage gap, with most of our Local Organizations participating in events to focus on Equal Pay Day, usually the 2nd Tuesday of April. In 2002, the "Take the Pay Equity Pledge" Campaign asked candidates for Congress to sign a pledge to support the Paycheck Fairness Act. As pledge cards came in, BPW/USA's Local Organizations held press conferences and distributed press releases on those candidates friendly to BPW/USA's focus issue-Pay Equity.


The 75th Anniversary of National Business Women's Week® (NBWW) was recognized in 2003. To celebrate of the vital role of women in business, leaders of Business and Professional Women/USA (BPW/USA®) and BPW Foundation rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Tuesday, October 21, 2003.

The ringing of the bell at the NYSE launched a six month focus on women's issues that saluted the 75th Anniversary of National Business Women's Week® and acknowledged the accomplishments of workingwomen and their important role in the business community. BPW/USA received a special welcome to the NYSE by Catherine R. Kinney, President, Co-Chief Operating officer and Executive Vice Chairman. The celebration included a six month national discussion with workingwomen and business leaders on “WOMENomics: The Economics of Work-life Balance” and the distribution of a nationwide survey on workplace equity and work- life effectiveness issues.

Those ringing the bell include BPW/USA President Carolyn Grady, BPW Foundation Chair Pat Cornish, BPW Foundation Vice-Chair Avis Parman, BPW/USA Vice President Roslyn Ridgeway, BPW/USA Secretary Janie Smith, BPW/USA Individual Development Chair Maria Hernandez, BPW/USA and BPW Foundation CEO Jane Smith, BPW/USA meeting planner Tricia Fadness, and BPW supporters Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Treasurer, Judy Hendrick and Ernst & Young partner, Barbara Raasch.


VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) was set to expire in September 2005 and BPW/USA made the VAWA reauthorization a top legislative priority. VAWA 2005 focused on expanding several of the key provisions contained within the previous VAWA authorizations.

In October 2005, BPW/USA launched Women Joining Forces:Closing Ranks, Opening Doors (WJF) , a program to support women veterans as they transition from military to civilian life. This commitment made BPW/USA the first and only non-governmental agency to offer programming that supports women veterans. Because BPW/USA has a national network that can offer leadership training, professional skill development and mentoring, it is uniquely positioned to support and assist women veterans. Take time to thank a veteran for their service and visit today.


BPW Foundation celebrated its 50th Anniversary throughout the year with Lighting the Way: Exploring Our Past, Discovering Our Future. February 27th was declared BPW Foundation Day by Washington, DC Mayor Anthony Williams.

Through its strong grassroots efforts, 2006 BPW/USA members were instrumental in getting Johanna's Law signed into law. This law authorizes a national gynecologic cancer early detection and awareness campaign targeted for women and their healthcare providers.

BPW/USA Career Center launched as the only online job service created specifically for women and veterans. It is customized to allow employers to showcase their women- and veteran-friendly programs and policies.

BPW/USA and American Heart Association's Go Red for Women partner to create a nationwide, grassroots initiative to teach and encourage working women to advocate for a healthy heart through their personal, professional and political actions.

BW Magazine publishes When Women Go To War, a timeline of women soldiers' milestones in Iraq and Afghanistan.


U.S. House of Representatives and Senate held hearings on Equal Pay, where BPW/USA and BPW Foundation submitted joint testimony highlighting the economic impact of the wage gap on women and families. The hearings discussed how and why legislation such as the Paycheck Fairness Act is needed to address remaining systemic barriers to women being paid fairly.

BPW Foundation published ground-breaking research providing a unique snap shot of women veterans as they return to the civilian workplace. Women Veterans in Transition provides recommendations for employers, social organizations and policy makers to assist this talented group of working women transition successfully into their lives.


BPW/USA attends Equal Pay Day press conference, also attended by Senators Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and George Miller (D-CA). BPW/USA expressed its disappointment that the Senate was unable to bring the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (HR 2831) to a vote.

BPW Foundation released Successful Workplaces Digest, an innovative how-to guide for employers to improve workplaces through policies and programs that support employees. The Digest features best practices from companies such as The New York Times Co. and Deloitte. Request your copy of a blueprint for an innovative workplace.

A BPW/USA poll released at its National Conference, provides insight to presidential campaigns gauging women's voting preference and patterns. With 2,000 BPW/USA member respondents, the poll found that 47 percent planned to vote for Sen. Obama for President of the United States. Thirty-three percent for Sen. McCain, 15 percent remained undecided, and 2 percent were not voting this election cycle. The poll results were later published on Barack Obama's web site.

On November 14, BPW/USA and BPW Foundation co-sponsored a congressional briefing about the challenges facing women veterans transitioning from active military to the civilian workforce. Subjects discussed included BPW/USA's historical interest in supporting women veterans and the groundbreaking research conducted by BPW Foundation.

BPW/USA and BPW Foundation launch the Young Women Misbehavin' blog to share and discuss current events, opinions and information for, by and about working women, families and successful workplaces. This launch is part of BPW's use of social media and BPW Foundation's Young Careerist research project.


Business and Professional Women/USA (BPW/USA) will merge with Business and Professional Women's (BPW) Foundation effective July 1, 2009. BPW/USA members approved a friendly merger with its sister organization, BPW Foundation, ensuring that their advocacy and support for working women and families would continue. This merged organization represents over 143 years of combined experience and will offer membership opportunities.

BPW Foundation is dedicated to promoting and advocating for successful workplaces for women, families and their employers. BPW Foundation defines successful workplaces as work environments that embrace and practice diversity, equity and work life balance. BPW Foundation will continue to focus on public policy and on grassroots activism to ensure that key issues impacting women and families are addressed at all levels.

On January 29, 2009 BPW/USA joined women's, civil rights and human rights organizations at the White House to witness the historic signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. BPW/USA was present at that historic 1963 White House signing as well.

This year, a BPW/USA Member was nominated as Secretary of Labor. Representative Hilda Solis, (D-CA), was confirmed to be Secretary of Labor on February 24. During her first week on the job, Secretary of Labor Solis was thinking of working women. She asked, "what about green jobs for women—how can we be sure women can get these jobs?" This demonstrates how important it is to use green jobs as a way to reinforce gender equity - especially in sectors with past historical bias. This is good news for working women and a new area of focus for BPW Foundation.

On March 11, President Obama signed an executive order creating a White House Council on Women and Girls. The Council's day-to-day operations will be run by Christina (Tina) Tchen, who is currently director of the White House Office of Public Liaison. Tina Tchen was a featured speaker at BPW Policy and Action Day 2009 held on March 31. BPW/USA also attended the unveiling of the new Small Business Initiative by President Obama in March.

BPW/USA celebrated Equal Pay Day in April by co-sponsoring a Congressional Briefing on the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 182). BPW Foundation data was used in support of the Paycheck Fairness Act by U.S. Representative Steny Hoyer (D-MD) who quoted BPW Foundation in his press release in support of the Paycheck Fairness Act. June 11, 2009 BPW Foundation testified before the House Workforce Protections Subcommittee on two work-life bills - the FIRST Act and the Healthy Families.

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