Chamber Chat - National Business Women’s Week

Oct 28

By Meg Moss


This past week was National Business Women’s Week ®. To honor the contributions of working women and employers who support working women and their families, Business and Professional Women’s Foundation celebrates National Business Women’s Week® (NBWW) during the third week of October.


NBWW provides an opportunity to call attention to women entrepreneurs, facilitate discussions on the needs of working women, share information about successful workplace policies, and raise awareness of the resources available for working women in their communities.


NBWW is a great opportunity to recognize and highlight the progress women have made as business owners and entrepreneurs. According to the Business and Professional Women’s (BPW) Foundation, there are 7.2 million majority-owned, privately-held, women-owned businesses in the United States. These firms employ 7.3 million people and generate $1.1 trillion in sales. Only twenty years ago it was still legal to require a woman to have a male co-signer before receiving a business loan.


As far as the history of NBWW goes, the BPW Foundation website tells us that the first annual observance of NBWW was held April 15-22, 1928, when then National BPW President Lena Madesin Phillips opened the week with a nationally broadcast speech. She stated that the purpose of the week was “to focus public attention upon a better business woman for a better business world.”


From this early effort, NBWW has grown into a nationwide salute to all working women. The program for the first observance of NBWW included: Legislative Day devoted to national, state and local legislation of interest to women; Education Day devoted to emphasizing the need for equitable educational opportunities; Club Rally Day for prospective new members; Community Day honoring leaders in the community; and Goodwill Day devoted to working with other women’s organizations.


In 1938, NBWW was moved to the third full week of October. U.S. President Herbert Hoover was the first president to issue a letter recognizing NBWW and the contributions and achievements of working women.


For ninety years, BPW Chapters have commemorated the achievement and contributions of working women by celebrating NBWW. And throughout the year, BPW Chapters work to improve the lives of women and their families by promoting equality.


And just last week, the Business and Professional Women’s North Carolina Chapter was honored to receive the official proclamation from Governor Cooper's office. Included in the proclamation was a statement that 74.6 million women are in our nation’s civilian labor force, making up more than 45 percent of all United States workers.


The Sanford Chapter of BPW is a diverse group of women; varied in age, background, profession and education. They meet the first Thursday of each month at Elizabeth’s Pizza at 5:30 pm. I encourage you to attend a meeting to meet a fantastic group of like-minded women!


Additionally, the Sanford BPW will host the Women’s Exchange in October of 2019 (mark your calendars!). The Women’s Exchange is a half-day women’s conference designed to help women succeed personally and professionally. The program includes a kickoff speaker, a professional development session, a moderated panel discussion, networking, and a luncheon with a Keynote address. According to the Sanford BPW website, the 2019 theme is Connect. Create. Celebrate., and focuses on the importance of collaboration, and the idea that bringing different faces to the table to work on a project can result in unmatched creativity.


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