Power to Make a Difference Awards are open!

The International Federation of Business & Professional Women (BPW International) announce that applications are now open for their Power to Make a Difference Awards.

The Power to Make a Difference Awards were introduced by Past International President Chonchanok Viravan and are designed to celebrate those members who have worked hard to make a difference for women; locally, nationally and internationally.

“It gives me great pleasure to announce the Power to Make a Difference awards, which have been updated to reflect the current work of our members,” says Ms Freda Miriklis, BPW International President.

“I encourage each and every one of you to consider entering and I look forward to congratulating you at our Congress on the beautiful island of Jeju, Korea.

“Each and every one of us is empowered to make a difference at all levels; at the top, and in the communities in which we serve and live.

“I look forward to celebrating and sharing your achievements.”

Read more…


BPW International Mentoring Taskforce Update

BPW International develops the professional, leadership and business potential of women on all levels through our advocacy, mentoring, networking, and economic empowerment programs and projects around the world.

BPW mentoring flyer

Please visit our website for more information: http://bpw-international.org/

ANNOUNCING: Countdown to Congress!

We are now one year away from our next International Congress, to be held May 23-27, 2014, on beautiful Jeju Island, KOREA! BPW Korea and BPW International are diligently working together on Congress preparations, with a goal of making this Congress the experience of a lifetime!

Save the Date: May 25th!

On May 25, 2013, three events will simultaneously occur: (1) The new congress website <http://bpw-international.org/congress2014> will open; (2) The new Congress Ambassadors taskforce will be deployed; and, (3) President Freda will return to Korea, this time as a headline speaker in the prestigious annual international event: Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity! Her topic: “21st Century: ‘Asian Century’, ‘Women’s Century’ – Achieving Full Economic Potential Through Gender Equality.”

During this event, President Freda will also announce an exciting new BPW International initiative in partnership with UN Global Compact, International Organisation of Employers, and their Korean counterparts: “Korea in Action: YES for WEPs!

Throughout President Freda’s 10-day whirlwind of events in Korea, we will continuously post news items, photos and video clips to the new Congress website! Join us there, and watch it all unfold, as we begin our countdown to the 28th BPW International Congress!

Anne Hilty

BPW International Congress Coordinator


Back from Puerto Rico by Young BPW Caribbean Sub-Regional Representative

By Rashida Beckles, BSc. MSc.

Photo by ©Anastasia Victoria Safarian

Photo by ©Anastasia Victoria Safarian

Having been recently selected to serve as Regional Young BPW Representative for the Caribbean Sub- Region, the opportunity to travel to Puerto Rico was timely and of extreme benefit at numerous levels.

Meeting with fellow talented Young BPWs and the exchange and sharing of experiences, ideas, goals and projects helped to solidify commonalities and surface differences in approaches, customs and cultures. The energy and enthusiasm which evolved as the days passed generated comfort and further optimism.

It was wonderful to meet with the Young BPW International Representative, Anastasia Victoria Safarian and BPW International President, Freda Miriklis as together they showed that the future of the organization was bright and reinforced the importance of not only the inter-regional links but the inter-generational connection to the continuity of the body.

The sessions were useful in helping to understand the organization more, as well as its history, successes, new direction and initiatives. Additionally, representatives present took time to offer advice and warmly welcome the Barbadian contingent.

The exchange of personal and business information assisted in building contacts across the region and awareness of what was being done which could assist better with communication and feed into the plans of the BPW International.

It was a different level of sisterhood and a genuine interaction of new friendships formed and projects to be organized.

BPW International North American & Caribbean Regional Congress

The North American and Caribbean Regional Congress of Business and Professional Women International (BPW) was held at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico on April 26-28.   Founded in 1930, BPW has a membership in nearly 100 countries. It is an NGO with consultative status in the United Nations and represents women in the workplace, market-place and community through government advocacy, networking and education.


The Congress, themed “Empowerment to Lead: Raising the Bar,” offered members training and presentations on operational governance, BPW’s supported initiatives, the International Trade Center, and the Commonwealth Business Women’s Council.

The meeting of Young BPW North America members from throughout the Region, championing issues of concern to women under 35, made recommendations of programs to promote the advancement of young leaders in positions of power and influence from local to national to international.


Dignitaries present included the BPW International President, Freda Miriklis of Australia;  Jill Worobec, 2nd Vice-President from Canada; Yasmine Darwich, BPW Executive Secretary; Anastasia Victoria Safarian, Young BPW International Representative from USA; North America & Caribbean Regional Coordinator, Bessie Hironimus of the USA; Elizabeth Benham, immediate past international president from New York; Yvette Swan, past international president from Bermuda; Tuulikki Juusela, past international president from Finland; Eufemia Ippolito, President of the Italian Federation; Doris Hall, International Congress Ambassador; and club members from Canada, United States, Mexico, Barbados, Bermuda, Haiti, Cayman Islands, Netherlands Antilles, St. Kitts, Trinidad, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Maarten, and British Virgin Islands.  

Other guests attending included: Arif Zaman, Advisor to the Commonwealth Business Council and an integral coordinator of the growing Commonwealth Businesswomen Network from London, UK; and Dee Schneider, Operations and Talent Director of Deloitte’s Caribbean and Bermuda Cluster; and Sarah Louden, President of Caribbean Oncology Associates, an extraordinary young woman entrepreneur who in just five years, grew a business from start-up to millions in annual sales.

For more information about BPW in Puerto Rico, contact Jennifer Tiller at jtinpr@gmail.com.

To learn more about BPW refer to: website www.bpw-international.org


Getting Ready for Jeju!

by Anne Hilty, BPW International Congress Coordinator

Spring, glorious spring, has come to Jeju Island, bringing with it a reminder: the 28th BPW International Congress will be held on Jeju just one year from now!

BPW Korea Federation, in its Host Planning Committee, is busy preparing to host the Congress: International Convention Center Jeju will be our beautiful seaside venue, Hyatt Jeju our HQ Hotel (many other hotel options as well), the Congress website will be launched on May 25, and  Registration will open on September 1! We have selected Congress Ambassadors from every region, who in May will begin representing the Congress and promoting members’ attendance.

International Convention Center Jeju - from SeaThe International Planning committee is now preparing the program, and have invited UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, UN Women’s anticipated new Executive Director (in the wake of Michelle Bachelet’s departure), UN Global Compact Executive Director Georg Kell, and UNDP Administrator Helen Clark, with many more high-level invitations going out shortly. As always, representatives of our partner organizations are expected to join us, to include, in addition to those above, World Bank, International Organisation of Employers, International Trade Centre, WEConnect, Commonwealth Business Women, and more.

600-36President Freda will return to Jeju at the end of next month, as a keynote speaker of the Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity, a noted annual event with 3000+ in attendance. Her session, which will lead the 3-day Forum, is entitled, “21st Century: ‘Asian Century’, ‘Women’s Century’: Achieving Full Economic Potential Through Gender Equality;” H.E. LU Hsiu-lien (Annette), former vice president of Taiwan and BPW Goodwill Ambassador, will join this session as President Freda’s dialogue partner. President Freda’s itinerary during this Forum is filled with exciting events, and we will regularly update the Congress website about each of them!

046-새섬Jeju Island, site of our 2014 Congress, is one of the more remarkable places on earth, and you owe it to yourself to enjoy the wonderful Congress with your BPW sisters in this glorious setting!

Jeju … Island of Women, with its famed “Strong Jeju Women,” “Asian Amazons,” rich goddess mythology, 18th century heroine Kim Mandeok (first female ‘CEO’ in Korea, and life-saving philanthropist) and the free-diving women known as “hae-nyeo;”

Jeju … Island of Nature, the only place in the world to receive UNESCO recognition in all 3 Natural Science Categories: Biosphere, World Natural Heritage, and Global Geoparks … and, chosen one of the world’s “New 7 Wonders of Nature;”

Jeju … Island of Peace, with a history of hardship and trauma, and a dedication to healing and to discovering peaceful solutions to the world’s conflicts;

Jeju … Island of Longevity, known for more than 2000 years for its remarkably long-lived people, where elders continue to work, contribute, remain independent, and retain a sense of purpose well into their advanced years;

Jeju … Island of Eco-Culture, where cutting-edge smart grid technology, renewable energy, waste management, and carbon-free practices are being researched and implemented in balance with the preservation of nature and traditional culture – where people and nature harmoniously co-exist;

Jeju … Island of Love, long the honeymoon destination for mainland Koreans, now sought after by lovers – of romance, of nature, of healing and well-being, of women’s culture, of prosperity – from around the world.

200-10Come to the 28th BPW International Congress! Come to Jeju – the experience of a lifetime!