As the legislative session is now well underway, Dallas Women’s Foundation is proud to serve as a collective voice advocating for policies that empower women and girls, and provide pathways to achieving economic security.
Today and over the next three weeks, I’ll spotlight key facts and recommendations from our latest research, Economic Issues for Women in Texas 2017, which focuses on the four critical building blocks necessary for women to achieve economic security – higher education, child care, health insurance and housing. These four building blocks are essential for financially strong women, girls and families, and with nearly 14 million women and girls living in Texas – working, going to school and caring for families – investing in women makes for a stronger Texas economy.
Higher education is a pathway to financial security because it provides greater opportunities for women and their families. Texas women have made great strides over the last several decades by increasing their education and taking more leadership roles in the business world. But even with significant educational and economic progress, Texas could do more to close the gaps that still exist for women to ensure they reach their full potential. Together, we can advocate for policies and practices that help women stay on the education pathway and maximize their educational outcomes.
Things You Should Know About Texas Women and Higher Education
- The median earnings of full-time working women with at least a bachelor’s degree are $19,000 higher than women with some college or an associate’s degree. However, women with a bachelor’s still earn $27,000 less than Texas men with a bachelor’s degree.
- The cost of higher education has risen steadily for the last several years, even as a higher education degree has become more necessary for women’s financial security. And state financial support for higher education has declined, leaving a larger burden on students and families.
- Financial insecurity creates challenges that make it less likely students will complete a higher education degree or credential.
What We Can Do Today
- Provide state subsidies to cover student costs for participation in dual enrollment courses.
- Increase state investments in grant aid and/or support services that help more students complete postsecondary education and training.
- Support and expand Texas’ Affordable Baccalaureate Programs that provide efficient pathways to higher education and to management career advancement.
- Allow certain Texas community colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees connected to high-demand fields that build off of “middle-skills” jobs.
We believe that by removing barriers to higher education, we will strengthen women and their families, and provide them the means they need to succeed and achieve economic security.
I encourage you to join us in our advocacy efforts, and share this update with your family, friends, co-workers and other networks. To contact your legislator, click here. To see the full report and findings for each building block, visit https://www.dallaswomensfdn.org/economicissues
Together, we can influence and advance policies that will change the future for women and girls in our community, state and beyond. And when we are able to empower women and girls to achieve economic security, they will be the Strong Women who can – and will – build a Better World.
Roslyn Dawson Thompson
President and CEO
PS: Don’t forget to join us on May 9 for our Leadership Forum and Awards Dinner, celebrating remarkable women leaders from our community.