'Better business women for a better business world' in Australia and beyond: the 'world minded' women of the International Federation of Business and Professional Women

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Abstract

The International Federation of Business and Professional Women (I.F.B.P.W.) was founded in 1930 by Lena Madesin Phillips. She argued that ‘no form of equality could endure, or prove effective once achieved, unless it had a sound economic base’. I.F.B.P.W. aimed to improve themselves—to become ‘better business women’, and to improve the world of business more generally. Despite scholarly interest in interwar international women’s activities, the I.F.B.P.W. have been overlooked, perhaps because they used polite, respectable methods and their campaigns in the international arena has limited success. But their continued existence suggests they were, and are, significant. This article uses the Australian B.P.W. Federation as a case study to investigate first, the place of the B.P.W. in the wider post-war women’s movement, as an organisation that was designed both for professional networking and activism in the economic sphere, and second, the significance of the international in their activities.
LanguageEnglish
Pages914-932
Number of pages19
JournalWomen's History Review
Volume28
Issue number6
Early online date13 Jul 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sep 2019

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Economics

Cite this

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abstract = "The International Federation of Business and Professional Women (I.F.B.P.W.) was founded in 1930 by Lena Madesin Phillips. She argued that ‘no form of equality could endure, or prove effective once achieved, unless it had a sound economic base’. I.F.B.P.W. aimed to improve themselves—to become ‘better business women’, and to improve the world of business more generally. Despite scholarly interest in interwar international women’s activities, the I.F.B.P.W. have been overlooked, perhaps because they used polite, respectable methods and their campaigns in the international arena has limited success. But their continued existence suggests they were, and are, significant. This article uses the Australian B.P.W. Federation as a case study to investigate first, the place of the B.P.W. in the wider post-war women’s movement, as an organisation that was designed both for professional networking and activism in the economic sphere, and second, the significance of the international in their activities.",
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