The Association of Business and Professional Women (ABPW) was founded in Clear Lake City, Texas in 1981 by a small group of Bay Area business and professional women. They were led by Rosemary Pledger, the first Dean of the School of Business and Public Administration at the University of Houston Clear Lake (UHCL). Dr. Pledger was the first person to receive a doctorate in Business Administration from Texas Tech University, and she was the first woman to serve as president of the National Academy of Management. During her tenure at UHCL, she led the school to accredited status by the American Assembly of Collegiate School of Business.
Dr. Pledger believed that business in the Bay Area at that time was limited and conducted through the “good old boy” network. Her vision was to create a “good old gal” network to empower women to achieve their goals in business. In 1981 she invited 55 local business women to a breakfast, and 35 of them attended demonstrating the interest and need for such an association.
To view a video about our history, click here.
Today, ABPW is stronger than ever. It is a well-diversified group of women representing numerous industries around the Bay Area.