September 22nd can only mean one thing — it’s the 67th anniversary of American Business Women’s Day! Some of you may not be familiar with the holiday and that’s perfectly okay. From its humble yet mighty founding date in 1949 to present-day social media campaigns that fight for and champion working women everywhere, we’ve got your primer to exploring little-known facts behind the big day and how it has gone the extra mile to celebrate businesswomen.
1) Meet the founders, the American Business Women’s Association.
On September 22, 1949, the American Business Women’s Association was officially founded. As a professional network for women in business, their mission was clear: “… to bring together businesswomen of diverse occupations and to provide opportunities for them to help themselves and others grow personally and professionally through leadership, education, networking support, and national recognition.”
Officially recognized by congressional proclamation in 1983 (and in 1986), the holiday commemorates setting aside a day to reflect on the legacy and tireless contributions made by millions of women — from entrepreneurs to small business owners and even those simply in the workforce — each and every day in the United States.
2) Angelina Jolie, Leslie Scott, and Shabana Azmi are just a few inspirational women ABWA spotlights.
Need a daring role model to motivate you to say yes to putting your dreams in action? The ABWA includes profiles of significant women throughout history with contributions you should know about. While this is only a snippet of ABWA’s full list, some women that have received the spotlight include:
- Leslie Scott, who dominated the male-driven toy industry as the founder of Jenga
- Shabana Azmi, an Indian film star who used her fame to become a women’s and human rights activist
- Karen Tse, human rights attorney and CEO of International Bridges to Justice, where she is on a mission to end torture in 93 countries
- Maya Angelou, who dropped out of college and went on to break boundaries with her poetry and receive a Pulitzer Prize
- Angelina Jolie, actress and humanitarian who promotes causes including conservation, education, and women’s rights, and announcement of her undergoing a mastectomy led to a global increase in BRCA gene testing
3) Each year, ABWA salutes members of their community with their Top Ten Awards.
Along with celebrating American Business Women’s Day each year, the ABWA recognizes the business women within their community with the Top Ten Business Women of ABWA program. Who can win this prestigious award? Members of ABWA who represent the best the association has to offer including contributions to the organization, career accomplishments of their own, and are actively involved with the community.
4) You can dig into even more empowering material with ABWA’s quarterly magazine.
Women in Business, the official magazine of the ABWA, is available as a PDF document for viewers to read through on the site. Each issue includes features that celebrate ABWA scholars, national scholarship recipients, seminar schedules with featured keynote speakers, and so much more that pays tribute to the success of working women.
5) #21cents4change and social media campaigns that advocate women’s equality.
21 years ago, Equal Pay Day was established. Since that date, not only do women earn less than men annually, they still have to prove their worth to order to catch up in the workplace. On American Business Women’s Day and every other day of the year, the ABWA encourages women everywhere to wear red as a symbol of how far in the red women are when it comes to equal pay for equal work. They have also taken to a wider audience via social media with the hashtag #21cents4change to spread the word. With almost half of the nation’s workforce comprised of women, the time for equal pay is now, especially on this holiday.
How are you celebrating American Business Women’s Day? Share a comment below and let us know!