Texas Grows Women Basketball Champions and Executives

Apr 4, 2012

Texas may be known for having strong women, particularly on the basketball court (go Lady Bears!), but when it comes to executive positions at mid-cap companies, it hasn’t exactly been a slam dunk for women.

On average across the country, barely 6% of executive positions at mid-cap companies are held by women, according to a recent study from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. The study, released by the U.S. Chamber’s Center for Women in Business, found that in the Southern region, which includes Texas, that average dips down to 2%.

But there is hope in one great shining city: Houston. In an op-ed in today’s Houston Chronicle, the Chamber’s Margaret Spellings points out that:

The Greater Houston Partnership (GHP), an organization committed to the city's continued economic development, is tackling the challenge head on. Through its own dedicated programs, including the Women's Leadership Committee and the Executive Women's Partnership, the GHP has built a network of 175 women from some 40 different industries. Together, these women are mentoring future professional leaders. They're providing peer-to-peer guidance to help women advance in the workplace. And they're spotlighting women-owned businesses and entrepreneurs in the community, helping to drive growth and jobs in the region.

Spellings, who is speaking at a CWB and GHP Regional Networking Event today, further makes the case for more women in executive positions:

Women are propelled by the spirit of entrepreneurship that will keep our 21st century work force competitive. They are a driving force in our economic recovery - both through entrepreneurialism and executive leadership. Women-owned businesses already contribute $3 trillion annually to our economy and support 23 million jobs. Let’s unleash the talent and energy of more American women, help grow their contributions to business, and put them to work in our economy.

In our free enterprise system, talent should be recognized regardless of gender, and opportunity should know no bounds.

The Chamber has also risen to the challenge, establishing the Center for Women in Business to create more opportunities for women to advance in the business world and to find professional fulfillment. The goal of the CWB is to see more women serving on corporate boards and in executive leadership roles in businesses of all sizes.

Get involved by visiting http://cwb.uschamber.com/

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