Economic Issues for Women in Texas

Read the fourth edition of the study in response to the massive impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic downturn on Texas women and families. We are still focused on the four pillars of financial security – child care, housing, education and health insurance – but you will also see some new components around digital access, cost of caregiving on women staying, or leaving, the workforce, and of course, eviction. This study also highlights some specific policy issues that we hope you will join us in advancing in the 2023 Texas Legislative session by joining our Army of Advocates.

Women and girls – across all ages, ethnicities, incomes and geographies – face similar challenges related to:

  • Education, employment and leadership opportunities
  • Health care, including mental health services
  • Child care
  • Housing
  • Personal safety

Targeted, Timely Gender Matters® Research

Texas Women’s Foundation is a transformational catalyst for social and economic change. We produce groundbreaking research on issues that affect women and girls statewide and demonstrate the fundamental benefits of women’s equality and leadership to our economy and future – including our signature series of targeted, timely GENDER MATTERS® Research, produced by Texas Women’s Foundation, to focus on key issues.

Our research explores the gendered reality in our state, and informs our strategic investments in advancing economic security of women and girls and their families, and opportunities for women and girls to lead in every sector.

We have strong statewide relationships with women’s funds and related organizations through co-convenings for presentations of our research. We are valued for providing a credible, objective, collaborative knowledge resource to help donors, grantees, lawmakers and community leaders come together around a common understanding of the issues, and raise our collective voice for women, girls and their families.  Our partners across the state represent many communities and regions, including:

  • Economic Issues for Women in Texas 2014: Amarillo, Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, McAllen, San Antonio, Tyler
  • Economic Issues for Women in Texas 2017: Amarillo, Austin, Dallas, Houston
  • Economic Issues for Women in Texas 2020
  • Economic Issues for Women in Texas 2022
  • Status of Women in Texas and Status of Women in Collin, Dallas, Denton & Tarrant Counties 2018: Frisco, Dallas, Fort Worth, statewide media webinar


Texas Women’s Foundation will be additive, not competitive, with an expansion strategy that will move across the state in our spheres of expertise:

  • Research is our starting point, which has been statewide in focus and distribution for over a decade. Just as we have done in various cities across the state since 2014, we will now expand further into new cities and regions through convening partners, donors and friends to present the research and issues, and recruit allies and advocates.
  • Investing in solutions that are both proven in the North Texas region and portable to other communities will be our next step, expanding signature programs including:
    • The Women’s Leadership Institute for executive women in corporations and businesses.
    • The Young Women’s Initiative that centers and empowers young women of color, ages 17-24, in the most under-resourced neighborhoods to lead in their lives and in their communities.
    • #BestSelf, a one-day intensive leadership development program for girls ages 11-16 that challenges stereotypes and helps girls be confident in the pursuit of their dreams.
  • Ultimately, we will be mobilizing capital for greater investment in Texas Women’s Foundation and the movement to Transform Texas for Women and Girls.

It is crucial work, and one of our most meaningful contributions is educating and advocating on key issues to stimulate greater social and economic change, as well as highlighting and supporting innovative programs and solutions in local communities.

As a trusted knowledge resource for advocates, policy-makers, civic leaders, donors and organizations, the conclusive information we bring to the forefront plays a key role in the public conversation and decision-making to:

  • Frame a vision of an equitable society where women and girls are full participants.
  • Keep a sharp focus on statewide initiatives to affect policy advancements.

Learn More About Economic Issues Facing Women in Texas

Economic Issues for Women in Texas, published by Texas Women’s Foundation, looks at state-level policies and practices and identifies opportunities for innovation and investment in solutions that improve economic and social equity for women and girls in Texas.

Engagement by Metro Area


Texas Women’s Foundation (formerly Dallas Women’s Foundation) has a 33-year history of leadership in advancing women and their families.

Our expertise in best-practice grantmaking models has been replicated around Texas and across the country. We serve as a knowledge resource and collaborative partner for donors, grantees, community leaders and philanthropic organizations. And we work together to amplify every dollar donated and invested to improve economic security and increase leadership opportunities for women and girls wherever they live in Texas.

Texas Women’s Foundation adheres to an intentional, data-driven and evidence-based process in our decision-making. We support innovative solutions and programs that are bold, yet sensible and responsible, in addressing the needs of women, girls and families in their communities.

The impact of our work is far-reaching. For example:

  • We are helping to educate and empower nearly 5,000 young girls annually through the Young Women’s Preparatory Network in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, Houston, Lubbock, San Antonio and Ysleta.
  • Texas Women’s Foundation provided financial support to add a gender lens to the statewide Texas Family Budget tool created and maintained by Center for Public Policy Priorities. For 27 regions across Texas, the Family Budget tool allows users to understand the cost of living for a family, types of jobs and wages available in those communities and the pressure points where advocacy and programs can make a real difference. Elected officials, agencies and individuals use the site to understand what it takes to move from surviving to thriving in Texas.
  • Texas Women’s Foundation provided initial seed funding and continues to support the Texas office of Alliance for Justice and their Bolder Advocacy project. Since 2015, the Texas office of Alliance for Justice has provided expertise and information to help nonprofits and foundations understand their advocacy rights under the law. Texas Women’s Foundation knows that philanthropy alone cannot meet the growing needs without engaging in local, state and national advocacy. A 2012 report from the National Center for Responsive Philanthropy showed that approximately one hundred nonprofit organizations across 13 states leveraged $231 million from their funders to create $26 billion in benefits for local communities and constituencies through their advocacy work. We provide workshops, webinars and free technical assistance, and publish legal guides, factsheets, and online resources. Over six months in 2018, we held more than 20 workshops in Texas and responded to over 30 requests for technical assistance from Texas organizations.


Driving Positive Change Across Texas

In order for all Texas women to become full participants in an equitable society, we need more lawmakers and decision-makers  – men and women – to help drive systemic policy change across the breadth of issues related to women’s economic security and leadership.

Texas Women’s Foundation (formerly Dallas Women’s Foundation) publishes groundbreaking statewide research on issues affecting women and girls, which provides decision-makers and lawmakers with critical data to inform policies, practices and programs in the state.

Through education and advocacy, we serve as a trusted source of information and a collective voice. Together we help ensure that women and girls are fully represented in the public dialogue, and get the essential resources and opportunities needed to build stronger families and a better Texas.



Financial coaching and other financial security interventions, such as financial counseling or case management, strive to help clients reach similar financial goals; but financial coaching is unique in several ways. First, financial coaching aims to be client-driven, thus requiring a significant degree of client empowerment. Second, financial coaching supports the development of broad behavioral changes in clients’ lives rather than more narrowly defined, explicitly financial targets. Third, financial coaching’s success has often been attributed to the content of the client-coach relationship, which is built upon mutual trust and accountability. Finally, financial coaching builds connections between emotional/psychological aspects of goal achievement and financial knowledge.

Many of these unique features of financial coaching that are often viewed as key to its success, are impacted by domains over which men and women have different outcomes or behaviors. Financial coaching should be tailored to build upon gender specific strengths as a foundation upon which to tackle gender specific challenges.


Texas Women’s Foundation is proud to provide lead support for “Women and Wealth”, a series of five research briefs designed to explore how the gender wealth gap impacts women throughout their life cycle.

The series includes strategies and policies the philanthropic community can use to support women to build assets and increase financial capability. The series, published by Asset Funder’s Network, includes the opening piece, “Women and Wealth” ultimately followed by four additional reports on the “sandwich generation”, Millennial women, elder women and women as small business owners.

Each brief leverages existing findings with new insights to identify the causes and impacts of the wealth gap on a specific sub-target group of women, while recommending specific strategies relevant to their life course.

Texas Women’s Foundation supports amplifying a wide variety of resources. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the authors, and not necessarily of Texas Women’s Foundation.


Real progress for women and girls will come when we create equitable opportunities to strengthen their economic security so they can build stronger families and better communities for all.

The Economic Status of Texas Women, 2018, 2019 are studies produced by Texas Women’s Foundation with the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

The studies provide comprehensive insights into trends and the progress of women in employment, earnings, health insurance, education, poverty and leadership opportunity.

Key findings in the 2018 report conclude that despite some positive trends, Texas still needs improvement:

  • Texas women will not achieve equal pay until 2049.
  • Women in Texas ages 16 and older who work full-time have median annual earnings of $37,400, or 79.6 cents on the dollar compared with men.
  • If Texas women were paid the same as men, their average annual earnings would increase by $7,300 and their poverty rate would be reduced by 51 percent.


Strong women help to make a better world. Our research provides corporations, community partners, local officials and non-profit organizations with authoritative information to help solve women’s economic issues in the community and across the state

Economic Issues for Women is a study published every three years by Texas Women’s Foundation with the Center for Public Policy Priorities. It looks at policies and practices and the state level, and identifies areas of opportunity where innovation and investment can help strengthen women and their families.

The report focuses on four key issues that are interwoven in the fabric of economic security for women, girls and their families: child care, education, health insurance and housing.

More Reports Available




When you give to Texas Women’s Foundation, you are directly contributing to the economic stability and future of Texas.