National Women’s History Month notes progress in education

March is National Women’s History Month. 

The theme of this year’s National Women’s History Month is “Women’s Education — Women’s Empowerment,” according to the National Women’s History Project’s website. 

Women have struggled throughout history to achieve equal rights and National Women’s History Month is an opportunity to celebrate women’s accomplishments, the website said. 

As more women attend universities, schools are making the effort to accommodate this increase by encouraging their students to promote equality in the workplace and in their ethical decisions, Tracy Williams, co-adviser of the Neeley Women’s Business Network said.

The Neeley Women’s Business Network has been focusing on teaching students how to encourage equality in their current classrooms and future workplaces, Williams said.

Out of the 500 companies on the 2011 Fortune 500 list, 12 companies have CEOs who are women, she said. The lack of female leadership in big businesses is something the network wants to remedy by providing students with networking opportunities and encouraging women to take advantage of leadership opportunities, Williams said. 

The network teaches women how to be authoritative and assertive leaders in business despite it being a male-dominated industry, she said.

“We want our students to not only blaze a trail for themselves and do it in a way where they’re confident in their abilities, confident in their skills — their technical skills as well as their interpersonal skills — and be able to showcase how well-rounded they are, regardless of their gender,” Williams said.

The percentage of women at TCU was 54 percent in 2011, according to In the past, the Office of Admission has focused on the individual candidate and not the male to female ratio, Dean of Admission Ray Brown said.

TCU has not had drastic fluctuation in its percentages of men and women over the past 30 years, but the percentage of women has increased, he said.   

“TCU does a really good job of promoting equality in a general sense,” senior theater major Stevie Tardiff said, The progress that women have made in education in America is especially visible if compared to the rights of women in other countries, said Tardiff, who organized the TCU V-Day Campaign, a national campaign to end violence against women. Education is crucial for women because it combats the voicelessness that a lack of education can bring, she said.

“Educated women know that there is something better and there is something different and have the ability to rise in positions of power,” she said.