Women's Empowerment

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54th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW54): March 1 – 12, 2010

A record number of NGOs attended the CSW meeting this year as the focus was on the accomplishments over the last 15 years and the challenges in the future. It has been 15 years since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action at the Fourth World Conference on Women. CSW focused on assessing what has been achieved since the Beijing Conference and outlining priority actions going forward. The Commission discussion the following four areas or priority importance to women:

  • Maternal mortality
  • Violence against women
  • Role of women in decision-making
  • New gender entity

In addition, there were nearly 100 side events. BPW International sponsored workshops for Life Long Learning Program included Empowerment Tools and Emotional Intelligen, Equal PayDay and Diversity. A detailed report is available on the BPW International website.




Reception hosted by Canadian Ambassador to the UN - John McNee (far left in photo). Others in the photo: Doris Hall, Helene Guergis - Minister for the Status of Women, Jill Worobec - Regional Co-ordinator of North America and the non-Spanish Speaking Countries of the Caribbean and Gerlinde Sarkar - BPW Saskatoon.

Doris Hall, Sue Calhoun and Gerlinde Sarkar

For more photos for the 54th CSW click here.

53rd CSW Meetings at United Nations in New York

At the 53rd session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in 2009, BPW members participated in the Gender Budgeting Discussion Panel, Equal Pay Day Workshop and the launch of the BPW International Equal Pay Day Awareness Campaign. Also BPW proudly hosted the Inaugural Claire Fulcher Dinner in honour of Claire’s many years of service to BPW International as one of our permanent representatives at the UN. International President Liz Benham also hosted the first Presidents’ Seminar. This annual two-day event connected clubs around the world, with 28 countries represented.


From left, Sue Calhoun, Doris Hall and Kathryn Munn.


Canada's Permanent Mission to the UN held a reception for the Canadian NGO's. From left, Jill Worobec (BPWI Regional Coordinator, North America); Niki Ashton (BPW Manitoba), also MP for Churchill and was part of the government delegation; Sue Calhoun (BPW Canada President); and Doris Hall (BPW Canada 1st VP).   BPWI International held a reception for BPW Canada's delegation on the first evening in New York. From left, Lisa Dare (BPW Calgary); Mary Ozcan (BPW Montreal); Freda Miriklis (2nd VP, BPWI); Sue Calhoun (BPW Canada President); Liz Benham (BPWI President); Gabriella Canonica (BPWI 1st VP); Kathryn Munn (back, BPW London); Doris Hall (BPW Canada 1st VP) and Dawn Nasson (BPW Calgary).



Bessie Yasmin Amany Jenny Liz

The mandate of BPW Canada is to develop the professional and leadership potential of women in Canada through education, awareness, advocacy and mentoring within a supportive network. Many women rise to the challenge as leaders in pursuit of this goal – both in their community and workplace. BPW Canada salutes these women, through its own Awards Program and others, listed below.

BPW Canada Centennial Recognition Awards

During the 45th Biennial Convention in Calgary, Alberta, BPW Canada marked the Centennial Year of Women's Suffrage.  One hundred recipients, organizations that work hard each and every day across Canada to advance women, received the BPW Canada Centennial Recognition Awards.  The list of recipients can be accessed here. 

Leadership Award Program

Rebranded in 2014, BPW Members or clubs can nominate and award the BPW Leadership Award to BPW Members and non-BPW members in their community at the national level. This is so BPW Canada not only recognizes its own members but other outstanding women leaders across the country. Nominations may come from clubs or provinces but may also come directly from individual members in good standing.

What does the award consist of?

The BPW Canada Leadership Award will consist of three items:

  • A framed certificate
  • A glass award engraved with the leadership focus and the name of the recipient
  • A piece of jewellry designed by international jewelry designer, Rachel Mielke of Hillberg & Berk (the jewellery will reflect the donor (BPW) within the design)

How many awards can be given?

The local clubs and national organization can decide if they wish to award one or more than one recipient. (As there is a fee to sponsor a recipient at the local or national level, the number of awards is restricted by the funding available).

Note: Although the National award will be presented only in convention years, a local club may choose to award every year.

What would be the process for national recipients?

Click Here for the Nomination Package. If you're still in need of more information, contact our This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Deadline is March 5th.

GovernorGeneralsAwardGovernor General Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case

Created in 1979 and based on the Persons Case, The Governor General Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case were created to mark the 50th anniversary of the win that legally declared women as persons. Each year, five recipients are chosen to reflect and celebrate the "Famous Five".

As BPW Canada is an organization of and for women, we strongly encourage our members, and women across the nation, to take part in these awards, whether by nominating or following the news on it.

To learn more about the awards, click HERE.

rbc-logoRBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards

This prestigious award offers Canadain Women Entrepreneurs to gain national recognition for their part in contributing to the local, national and global economy.

To date, over 15,000 women in Canada have been nominated for this award and over 120 have been presented for outstanding entrepreneurial achievements.

We strongly encourage all of our members to take part in these awards either by nominating a woman they know, or following the news on it. Click here to read about it.

To learn more about the awards, click HERE.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find a BPW Club in your Area


  1. What are the benefits of membership?
  2. When and where are meetings held at each level?
  3. How are clubs run?
  4. What are the duties of membership?
  5. How much are membership fees?
  6. What happens if a member moves away from her club?
  7. What is the purpose of the provincial organizations?
  8. What is Young BPW?
  9. How do I know if there is a club in my area?
  10. I’d like to join but there’s no BPW club in my area. What can I do?
  11. BPW Clubs in Canada

1. What are the benefits of membership?

Benefits of Membership 

2. When and where are meetings held at each level?

  • Most local clubs meet monthly. Find a club in your city here. 
  • AGMs and Social events are held in May and June
  • Provincial AGMs are held annually in the Fall
  • Provincial Conferences are held in May
  • A National Convention is held every two years usually during the summer
  • A National AGM is held every two years (alternating with the convention)
  • The International Congress is held every three years. 

3. How are clubs run?
Each club has its own Board of Directors or Executive, usually made up of a President, Vice-president, Secretary, Treasurer and chairs of Standing Committees. The executive is elected at the Annual General Meeting, and holds office for a two-year term. Clubs set their own agenda for the work they do. Some offer mentorship, others offer scholarships while most champion priority areas affecting women such as equal pay, empowerment of women, health and childcare, as well as mark international days and themes that align with national and international focus areas.

4. What are the duties of membership?
Members in good standing are those who have paid their annual fees in May, and continue to support the aims and objectives of the organization. Members are encouraged to attend regular monthly meetings, bring guests, share their areas of expertise, engage as mentors, participate and lead committees, stand for office as well as attend national and international meetings and events.

5. How much are membership fees?
Each club sets its own fees. The average is about $150 per year depending on the location and priority areas.  This amount includes fees to the provincial organization and the national and international federations.

6. What happens if a member moves away from her club?
A member of any club in Canada can transfer her membership to any other club in Canada at no cost. 

7. What is the purpose of the provincial organization?
As an advocacy group, BPW must address issues at the appropriate level of jurisdiction. The provincial organizations lobby provincial governments and other organizations on matters of provincial concerns. BPW Canada addresses issues that are of national interest. 

8. What is Young BPW?
BPW Canada has a special category of membership for women who are under 35 years of age called Young BPW. Young BPW is part of an international network of members in this age category. Many clubs now have a Young BPW committee chairperson, which may hold special meetings to address issues of particular concern to young business and professional women. For more information, visit the Young BPW page.

9. How do I know if there is a club in my area? 

Click here for a list of clubs in Canada.

10. I’d like to join but there’s no BPW club in my area. What can I do?
We are always looking to start new clubs.  If you have a goup of 10 business and professional women ready to start a club, we want to hear from you.  Contact the Vice President for Membership This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  If you're a member, log in as a member to access the guide and PowerPoint on how to set up a club.  These resources are available in the Member Menu under Membership.

Click Here to learn about the BPW Canada Online Club.  

Check out the Virtual Chapter in the USA.




BPW in ACTION in bw

 Why Join BPW?

BPW is For All Women: In the Workplace, Marketplace & Community

Group Insurance Leadership W.O.R.K. Career Skills Achievement Program

Membership in BPW offers a plethora of opportunities and benefits to working women. Our advocacy work gives women a chance to be involved in the key issues that affect women in Canada and around the world. Clubs provide a “training ground” for developing leadership skills in a safe and supportive environment, allowing members to build networks and create lasting friendships. Members participate in a range of activities that lead to personal and professional development and career advancement.

A member of a local club is automatically a member of the district, provincial, national and international organizations. She is entitled to attend all events, including national and international conferences. She is also entitled to be a part of BPW Canada's delegation to the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations in New York each March.

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In addition, we have some specific programs that are available to BPW members, such as:

Group Insurance

Flexible, comprehensive and affordable insurance coverage through Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada. Each member can custom-design a plan that meets her needs and those of her family. Self-employed and business-owning members can write off the premium as a business expense, and individual members may be able to deduct the premiums from their taxes as a medical expense.

Click here for the range of products offered to BPW members.


Leadership for the 21st Century

BPW Canada offers an interactive leadership workshop that includes discussion and development of strategies, and an action plan to promote leadership based on feminine principles. It is offered regularly to clubs, upon request, and we hope to offer “train-the-trainer” sessions in the near future.

Click here for more information regarding the workshop, including its learning objectives.

Women's W.O.R.K. (Women Offering Resources & Knowledge)

BPW Clubs can access funds from this non-profit organization to organize educational activities and programs in leadership, life skills and professional development of women in Canada.

"This is a charitable organization with the objective of providing funding to support seminars sponsored through BPW clubs across Canada. These seminars must be specifically centred on helping women increase their knowledge in areas that will help them to become successful in business and politics, and to provide information on issues specific to women. Donors will receive a tax receipt when they make a contribution to W.O.R.K" -message from W.O.R.K. BPW Canada Clubs: W.O.R.K. sponsorship application is available by using Member Login.

Donate to W.O.R.K via CanadaHelps

For more information, contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or click here, to read the full message about W.O.R.K. and donations.

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Career Skills Achievement Program

BPW Canada has developed a great series of training modules for its members. They are “self-directed” in that participants learn by working through the material together. The modules are made available to members only via our website.

Career Skills Topics 


 Mentorship Graduates 14

 Find a Club Near You!

Mentorship Program 2015

 Mentorship Graduates

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Find a BPW Club

BPW Clubs exist in the following Provinces across Canada  

B. C. & Yukon




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New Brunswick 


BPW Canada Online Club 

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  1. Young BPW
  2. BPW Virtual Club

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