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Let’s Be Professional


Today there is much hoot and holler about what a feminist is and what that means. While few Americans call themselves a feminist, most actually do support equality for the sexes, but that support wasn’t always so popular. It took some courage for early feminists to take a stand, but they achieved a great deal.

One of the most successful feminist organizations is the National Federation of Business and Professional Women, an offshoot of the Woman’s War Work Council, which had been created to take advantage of the skills and experience women could bring to the workplace during World War I.

After the war, Business and Professional Women’s Clubs began to spring up, and on June 7, 1919 a group of North Dakota Women met to discuss the possibility of forming a club. They favored the idea, and on this date in 1919, they chartered the Grand Forks Business and Professional Women’s Club.

As the oldest such club in the state, it has supported many events and programs. In 1923 they held several dances to buy Grand Forks a new snow plow. In the 70s and 80s they were very active rallying for the Equal Rights Amendment, and the group has provided scholarships for many women. The club also helped other chapters in the state get started.

The founders of club clearly did North Dakota a favor, helping elevate the role of women and blazing a trail of achievement. So, here’s to the state’s feminists, past and present, who have helped secure the advancements we appreciate today.

Dakota Datebook written by Lucid Thomas