COLUMBIA, S.C. — A resolution passed Thursday recognizing the contributions of the SC Area Council of the American Business Women's Association.
The national organization was founded at the height of World War Two in 1949, when, at the time, it was socially unacceptable for women to work.
Their message today is although women have come a long way, still a long way to go.
“This is the first ABWA day at the State House, or capitol throughout the U.S. and it’s very significant because we are now written in history that we are recognizing women, we are enhancing women, through this beneficial organization," said ABWA vice-president Rachelle Jamerson-Holmes.
The organization serves working women, entrepreneurs, students, and retirees through networking and educational opportunities.
Published census data showed that in 2021, women made up about 44% of the total workforce, but only 41% of managers.
Overall, women earned about $0.82 for every dollar men earned.
“The disparities come through pay. It comes through making sure that women can be part of different industries, all industries. Any industry that she chooses to be. It doesn’t matter if she’s a man or a woman, if she can do the job, and she can do it well," said Jamerson-Holmes.
There are four state chapters of the association based in Columbia, Orangeburg, Charleston, and Newberry.
From this year onward, the American Business Women's Association will visit the state house and meet state lawmakers, and hope to build civil engagement.
“Women have really stepped forward to start their own businesses, to be able to do things virtually and work remote from home and be able to accept jobs that might not just be in their state or town, and so many opportunities have come available but there’s so much more that needs to be done,” said Jamerson-Holmes.