OWIT began in the mid-eighties with the independent development of the organization’s founding chapters in several locations across the United States. Though developed with only minimal knowledge of each other, these local groups held similar goals of advancing career and trade opportunities. OWIT was officially established in 1989 when the organization held what would become its inaugural board meeting in Los Angeles, CA. The following year, OWIT organized its first national conference in Washington, D.C. and published its first membership directory. The organization had 12 US-based chapters at that time. Today, OWIT International has a growing number of chapters across North, South & Central America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. A Virtual Chapter exists for individuals who want to be involved with OWIT but do not yet have a local chapter nearby. It is recognized worldwide for building ongoing trade relationships within and between global communities. Each year, OWIT International recognizes a Woman of the Year as an accomplished business woman who helps others aspire to careers in international trade.