Via: KFDA – 10

By: Suzette Shelley

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) -A new study from Texas Women’s Foundation shows women in Amarillo, Lubbock and Midland-Odessa have a large gender gap in employment compared to other cities around Texas.

Women make up 50.3 percent of the Texas population, over 14 million in all.

Despite noteworthy progress achieved in gender equality, especially in education, employment and politics, women continue to stay at home more than men.

The study showed that of women who can work, only 56 to 60 percent actually do. Some organizations in Amarillo are trying to change that.

The Panhandle Regional Planning Commission said it has ways for some women that would like to work, to be able to.

“Childcare, it’s a large chunk of your income and I think that might be one of things that deters some women from going into the workplace. If I can only earn this much working, but I’m going to have to pay out this much to work, where is my real benefit?” explained Panhandle Regional Planning Commission Contracts and Accounting Manager Heather Freeman.

The PRPC has grants to supply childcare for parents to be able to go to work or become educated.

“People would be amazed the income threshold that the parents can be at to qualify for childcare support,” said Freeman.

Workforce Solutions is putting together a video to highlight behind the scenes of certain jobs that might not be appealing to women in hopes to have them apply for some these jobs.

“Some of the environments that people are working in, they might think are dirty or dangerous. And you might be surprised how clean, neat and orderly some of these manufacturing and production facilities are,” said Workforce Solutions Director Trent Morris.

Workforce Solutions currently has 800 jobs open that they are trying to match job seekers with, that both females and males can apply.

“I think that females in the workforce are a tremendous asset to the Texas Panhandle,” said Panhandle Regional Planning Commission Executive Director Kyle Ingham. “We just to hope to see the people that want to work in the Panhandle working and that they have every opportunity that they want.”