History

Central New York Professional and Working Women is a Chapter of NYS Women, Inc. We trace our beginning to the founding of National Federation of Business and Professional Women in St. Louis in 1919. We began as an advocate for women, and remain so. Syracuse first became part of this national group in 1930, following sister organizations in Rochester, New York City, Brooklyn, Newburgh and Niagara Falls. Locally, we have been known by various names and in many areas, including Syracuse, Metropolitan of Syracuse, Camillus, Geddes, Liverpool, North Syracuse, Min-E-Mont and spread to include Watertown, Three Rivers, Oswego, Fulton, Camden and Oneida. All of which, since 2009, have consolidated as Central New York Professional and Working Women, previously known as Central New York Business and Professional Women.

The original focus, in 1919, was education of women and girls, to help them succeed as independent women. We have been a non partisan advocate for the right to vote, equal insurance coverage, Title 9, the Voting Rights Act of 1964, the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment), CEDAW (Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women) and many other issues affecting women.

Our scholarship efforts have been assisting local women to be successful on various levels of education since our 1930 beginning. We continue to offer scholarships. We also participate in the NYS Women, Inc. Grace LeGendre Endowment Fund for graduate study grants.

At our CNY meetings, we have presented programs of interest to and for women in order to build powerful women. Women running for elected office, elder care, women’s financial services, women in history, women in the arts, promoting women in business, educational opportunities and scholarships for women, charitable programs and many other subjects have been covered by our chapter.

All women are welcome.   Join us as we, the CNY Professional & Working Women, move forward from our past 80 years into the future.