(AUSTIN) — Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar is continuing his Good for Texas Tour by highlighting women in the Texas workforce and their important impact on the Texas economy. Today, Hegar is celebrating the work of Kelle Wood Rich, owner and executive director of the Central Texas Autism Center (CTAC).
“Texas women have a large impact on our state’s quality of life and economic vitality, and today, I’m highlighting their work in the education and health services sector,” Hegar said. “Texas women working in this sector generate additional business activities that support nearly 1.2 million jobs in industries throughout the state economy.”
During his Good for Texas Tour: Women in the Workforce Edition, Hegar is sharing the results of a study the Comptroller’s office recently completed examining the impact of women on the Texas economy. He is touring facilities and meeting with some of the exemplary women who hold leadership roles in all sectors of Texas’ economy.
Rich founded CTAC in 2003. She consults with school districts and agencies around the country and serves on the professional board of the Autism Society of Texas, Professional Issues Committee and Public Policy Group of Texas Association of Behavior Analysis. A former teacher, crisis interventionist and school district autism specialist, Rich became one of Texas’ first board certified behavior analysts (BCBA) in 2000.
CTAC provides therapeutic services at its Austin campus, in homes and through an academy program based at local private schools. It employs a large number of BCBAs, and families travel from around the world to have their children assessed there.
The center is part of the state’s education and health services industry. In 2017, women comprised 77 percent (nearly 1.3 million jobs) of all Texas workers in the sector, accounting for the highest female employment across all industries. In the health care portion of this industry, women’s average annual salary was about $57,000.
“The focus of this tour is to highlight the profound impact Texas women have on the health of the state economy,” Hegar added.
In all, nearly 6 million women held jobs in Texas in 2017. Texas’ women-owned businesses employed 808,200 workers and generated about $134.2 million in sales.
“I hope this tour also will emphasize the need to ensure women have equal access to advancement in the workplace,” Hegar said.
Further efforts are needed to eliminate barriers to women’s entrepreneurship and access to top-level positions. Three of the most women-dominated occupations in Texas — health care support, personal care and service and office and administrative support — are among the lowest-paid occupations in the state.
And even in higher-paying occupations, such as health care and technology, the share of women employed in the highest-paying jobs is significantly smaller than that of men.