The International Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW International) was founded by Dr. Lena Madesin Phillips, a lawyer, in 1930 in Geneva. She was passionate about the equal position of women in all aspects of life and paticularly in business, economics and the professions.
During the last 8 decades, BPW International has become one of the most influential international NGOs of business and professional women with affiliates in 100 Countries in five continents.
BPW has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) since 1947 and participatory status with the Council of Europe. Its members include influential women leaders, entrepreneurs, business owners, executives, professionals and young career women through all industries.
The root of BPW’s advocacy is embedded in the work with the United Nations. BPW lobbied for the formation of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and supported many women’s issues. BPW was awarded a Peace Messenger Certificate from UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar in 1987. Esther Hymer, BPW representative at the UN, was named as one of three women playing a significant role in the work of the UN Commission by Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 1997. Today, BPW continues its representation at UN Headquarters in New York, Vienna and Geneva. There is also representation at UN regional offices (UNECA, UNECE, UNESCAP, UNESCWA, UNECLAC); UNESCO, UNICEF, ILO,WHO, UNCTAD, UNIDO, FAO, UN DPI; the Council of Europe; European Women’s Lobby and they continue to work closely with UNIFEM.
BPW International works for global gender equality and decision-making through our advocacy at the United Nations.
BPW develops the business, professional and leadership potential of women through it's advocacy, mentoring, networking, skill building and economic empowerment programmes and projects throughout the world.
Our aim is to make an impact for Women in the workplace, by advocating to governments and corporations and by revealing Women's potential.
Motto for 2018-21 " Empowering women to realise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)"
Equal Pay Day
Equal Pay Day was initiated by BPW. Women's accounts are always in the red, (hence the red bags). The average gender pay gap is 16% (comparison between hourly rates). Women over 65 are also the group most at risk of poverty- as they earn less, they have lower pensions. BPW Europe and the Federations have been running this campaign for a number of years now and will continue to do so in the future. There is a special website for Equal Pay Day : to make our activities visible. Ireland has joined in these activities and highlights the gap in pay over the working life of women.
History of Tullamore BPW Club.
Tullamore BPW Club was founded in 1971 by a group of Tullamore business, professional and local women. The Howth BPW Club were the instigators of this meeting. Howth celebrated 50 years in existence in 2013. Fifty three women met on the first occasion and following on from this first meeting, they met on a monthly basis. They invited many interesting speakers to address these meetings. The founding President was Dr. Breda Scanlon. (RIP).
The Club has celebrated 47 years of continuous existence in Tullamore and has been host to an impressive array of speakers over that time. These included Mary Robinson, Garret FitzGerald, Kader Asmal, David Norris, the Knight of Glin, Desmond Guinness, Gus Martin, Catherine McGuinness, Elizabeth Cope and Ambassadors from Austria, France, Croatia, South Africa and Australia. Other interesting speakers were Maeve Binchy, Gay Byrne, Nuala O'Faolain, Marian Finnucane, Yvonne Farrell, Conor Brady, Lord Ross and Fergal McCabe. Local historians and business people have also addressed our meetings.
A variety of open meetings were also held including Health Presentations, Cookery demonstrations, gardening and flower arranging meetings and Art and musical evenings. A variety of projects have been undertaken over the years, including supporting a creche facility for Women in Adult education, a Young Business Woman's Award and supporting a young artist to further her education. Help was also provided for preschool education in Moldova as well as supporting local charities.
The Public Speaking Competition for second level girls' schools has been the most important project undertaken annually by all BPW Clubs in Ireland and Tullamore schools have won more than their fair share of these competitions.
Committee for 2018
The members voted into office at the AGM in January 2017 are :-
President : Jean Durkin
1st V-P : Bernie Henry
Immed. Past Pres.: Dymphna Bracken
Hon.Sec : Gretta Flynn
Social Sec.: Mary Wrafter
Treasurer : Helen Bracken
Ass. Treasurer: Mary Carroll
PRO : Marie Neville
Council Rep: Mary Wrafter
Members : Margaret Dunne,