The International Association of Women (IAW)
Previously National Association of Professional Women (NAPW)
The International Association of Women (IAW) – previously National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) is a professional networking organization for women that seeks to empower and inspire its members through a diverse set of resources and programs1. The association is a global in-person and online networking platform that provides women with the forum, professional development, and services needed to succeed in an interconnected world2.
History and Ownership of The International Association of Women (IAW)
Founded in 2007 by Matthew Proman, IAW was originally known as the National Association of Professional Women. It is the largest business network for professional women in the United States, extending across virtually every industry and profession with members from diverse backgrounds. In 2013, the association’s website, NAPW.com, was recognized as one of Forbes’ Best 100 Websites for Women3.
Since 2014, IAW has been a fully owned subsidiary of the Professional Diversity Network (NASDAQ:IPDN). The Professional Diversity Network is a global developer and operator of online and in-person networks, providing access to networking, training, educational, and employment opportunities for diverse professionals.
It operates several business units in the United States, including IAW, which is one of the largest and most recognized networking organizations of professional women in the country, spanning more than 200 industries and professions.
Services and Programs of The International Association of Women (IAW)
IAW offers a variety of resources and support systems to its members. The association provides a powerful community of like-minded women, which serves as a support system to help members accomplish their goals. IAW’s online platform allows professional women to network with others, find resources to support their professional growth, and register for upcoming events.
Additionally, the association hosts mentoring programs for professional women, offering guidance, promotion, and development opportunities. These mentors help navigate workplace challenges, define career goals, and assist members in achieving success.
Local chapters of IAW provide an opportunity for professional women to connect within their areas. These local chapters, currently operating in a virtual format, are a valuable opportunity for women to promote their businesses, products, or services, share their ideas and experiences, and find resources and support. For members outside of the United States, the IAW offers the Global Chapter, which provides networking and development opportunities for women worldwide4.
Events and Initiatives of The International Association of Women (IAW)
IAW also organizes events and initiatives to inspire, educate, support, and empower women. For instance, in March 2022, IAW hosted a successful virtual summit, “Together We Rise,” that attracted more than 2,000 participants and awarded $10,000 in grants. The summit was packed with keynote speeches, workshops, and panel discussions covering a range of topics pertinent to the professional challenges women face. (source)
During this event, a live Business Pitch Competition was held, and Dr. Eboni Bell, founder of Dream Girl Subscription Box, was awarded a year of Influencer membership and a $5,000 grant. Moreover, the 2nd annual Dr. Barbara Young Women’s Empowerment Grant provided five outstanding women with a year of Influencer membership and a $1,000 grant each for their continued professional development.
Impact and Future Direction of The International Association of Women (IAW)
IAW has shown remarkable resilience and adaptability, particularly in the face of global challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic. The shift from in-person to virtual events allowed IAW to expand its global reach and impact more women. As the in-person limitations ease, IAW is looking forward to hosting its first in-person Inspirational Influencer Gala.
The collective energy and resilience of its members have been a testament to the association’s impact. Megan Bozzuto, President of IAW, expressed her admiration for the strength shown by women who, despite facing hardships like job loss, family pressures, and personal health crises, have been breaking down barriers and teaching companies how to better support them in the workforce. She also highlighted the supportive nature of the community, with women showing up for one another in significant ways, both personally and professionally.
IAW’s commitment to fostering a supportive, empowering environment for professional women is apparent in the testimonials of its members, who often speak to the invaluable connections, resources, and opportunities they’ve gained through the association. For instance, one member lauded the IAW as her smartest business move, while another expressed how the organization represented a diverse tribe of women looking to empower, support, understand, and inspire others.
With its commitment to professional development, empowerment, and diversity, the International Association of Women (IAW) continues to create significant opportunities for women across the globe. By providing an extensive network of resources and support, the IAW continues to play an instrumental role in empowering women in their professional journeys. As the association looks to the future, it is poised to continue expanding its global reach, fostering diversity, and championing the professional development of women worldwide.