Iowa Press Women, Inc.
Iowa Press Women, Inc. (IPW) was established to foster communication among, and promote the interests of, women journalists. The preliminary organizational meeting of what was to become IPW was held in April 1937. Ella Taylor, who began her work with the Traer, Iowa Star-Clipper in 1888, and who at the time was reputed to be the oldest active woman columnist in the state of Iowa, initiated the meeting. Invitations were sent out to those who were already affiliated with the National Federation of Press Women. Seven women attended. In January 1939, a second meeting was called in Des Moines, Iowa. Preliminary drafts of a constitution and bylaws were discussed and adopted on February 11, 1939. The purpose of the IPW was "to provide a means of contact between women writers, to foster mutual improvement through association, to make possible the expression of a common voice in matters of interest to women, to promote the highest ideals of American journalism, and to cooperate with the National Federation of Press Women and affiliates." The majority of the members at this time were editors or associate editors of their publications. Seventy-two members paid the one dollar entrance fee prior to the January 1939 meeting. The intent of the founders was to limit the membership strictly to newspaper women. On May 6, 1939, the IPW held its formal christening ceremony in Ames, Iowa. In 1941 the first issue of the group's newsletter, Iowa Press Women, was published and the "little sister" program was initiated to allow girls to join. Iowa Press Women incorporated in 1943 and membership continued to grow; by 1949 there were 101 members. In 1967 a new newsletter, The Challenger, was inaugurated. Membership fluctuated throughout the years, with 84 members in 1969, 112 members in 1976, and 82 members in 1989. Noteworthy events of IPW included lobbying for the Equal Rights Amendment in 1953, establishing a scholarship fund for an outstanding woman in journalism in 1954, and raising the requirements for teaching journalism in Iowa high schools in 1975.