in memory candle

BWM Remembers Past State President Nancy Gass

In January of this year, we learned of the passing of one of our Past State Presidents, Nancy Gass, of our St. Louis Metro local club. Nancy provided exceptional service to our organization serving in the not only the highest State-level office, but also as President-Elect, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Finance Chair, Issues Management Chair, Bylaws Chair, Legislation Chair, and District Director. She also served a series of roles on her local club level from President to multiple chair positions during her tenure.

Foundation Donations In Memory of Nancy Gass

Nancy’s passion within Business Women of Missouri was the BWM Foundation that serves scholarships to students. She was proud to support this cause. Our organization recognizes donations to the scholarship foundation in Nancy’s memory to our Elizabeth Halpin Scholarship, as after the death of Elizabeth, Nancy along with Elizabeth’s family established the Scholarship in Elizabeth’s name.

Nancy Gass’s State President Tenure History

During’s Nancy’s tenure as State President during 1990-1991, her theme (as each President assigns a theme for the year) was “BPW Formulas for Success.” Please note that during Nancy’s tenure our organization was the Business and Professional Women organization and was later changed.

Below is an excerpt from Nancy’s own report of her tenure:

Our theme for the year has been “BPW Formulas for Success.” The working of the Federation can be compared to laboratory experiments, some come out successful the first time, others require more work and research and some blow-up. We always need to weight out the right portion on the balance, ground them properly in the mortar and mix them together correctly to have a “Formula of Success.” This is a big requirement to reach success but the MO/BPW seems to find a way to obtain it.

We are grateful for Nancy’s service to our organization, her community, her state, and her impact on women everywhere.

Nancy’s Award-Winning Fudge Peanut Butter Bars

During our State Conference in April 2018, we learned that Nancy had been honored as a Top 100 finalist during a Pillsbury Bake-Off in 1972. Here is a copy of her recipe:

Ingredients:

1 cup Pillsbury Best All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Rolled Oats
1/2 cup firmly packed Brown Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Salt

Filling:

1/4 cup Sugar
1 tablespoon Pillsbury Best All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Chocolate Syrup
1/2 cup Peanut Butter
3oz package Cream Cheese, softened

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the first 4 ingredients until crumbly. Reserve 1 cup for the topping. Press remaining crumbs in ungreased 9-inch square or 11×17 inch pan. In the same bowl, combine all Filling ingredients. Blend until smooth. Spread carefully over crust; sprinkle with the reserved topping crumbs. Bake 30-35 minutes until lightly browned.

Makes about 2 dozen bars.

Hilton Garden Inn Independence

Call to State Conference 2018

CALL TO BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING AND ANNUAL STATE CONFERENCE

April 20 – April 22, 2018
Hilton Garden Inn, Independence, Mo.
19677 E. Jackson Drive
816-350-3000

TO: Business Women of Missouri Local Presidents, State Board and Incoming State Board Members, all BWM Members

FROM: Sheila Miller, 2017-2018 State President

On behalf of the Executive Committee, I am excited to issue the official Call to the Business Women of Missouri’s 97th Annual State Conference to be held April 22-22, 2018, at Hilton Garden Inn, Independence Mo., for the purpose of transacting the business of the organization as outlined in the state bylaws.

State Conference Chair Vicki Silkwood and I have planned a conference that will be fun and informative. Please join us and bring a friend for a memorable weekend with your BWM sisters!

 

DIRECTIONS

Take 39th street exit off I-70 from any direction & take service road to Hilton Garden Inn.

RESERVATIONS

A block of rooms is being held until Monday 26, 2018, at our BWM group conference rate. Rooms booked after that date will be at a higher rate. If you are willing to have a roommate to help cut the cost, or if you reserved an extra room and your plans have changed and the room is now available to other members who may have missed the deadline, please notify the BWM State Office.

CONFERENCE REGISTRATION

The Conference package is $150.00 provided it is postmarked no later than April 10, 2018. This package includes the registration fee, all meetings and presentations, Friday night snacks, Saturday lunch and the banquet Saturday evening and Sunday morning Breakfast. Separate fees will apply for guests who wish to attend the 97th Celebration/Officer Installation Banquet on Saturday evening. (Registrations after April 10, 2018, will be accessed a $25 late fee.)

You can register online here: Register for 2018 State Conference

REPRESENTATION

In accordance with BWM bylaws, any member in good standing is eligible to participate and vote at the state conference. The member’s state dues must be current to be in good standing.

REGISTRATION AND CREDENTIALS

The Registration and Credentials Committee will be on duty from 6:15 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Friday and 7:00a.m. to 8:00a.m. Saturday in front of the Oregon room.

It is necessary to wear name badges at all times throughout the conference. Badges will be checked at the door each time you enter a meeting or event. The badge will be coded as to whether you have paid to attend the conference events. You may have your name tag in your purse or pocket during the banquet. Please return the plastic holder at the end of the conference for reuse. Be sure to include the names of guests on your registration form.

FRIDAY EVENING PRE-CONFERENCE BOARD MEETING

The Executive Committee, Board of Directors, Regional Directors, and Local Club Presidents will convene at 7:00 p.m. for the pre-conference Board Meeting in the Oregon Room.

Generations Taking Charge Experience (Invitation ONLY)

Sandra Clay will be overseeing the GTC Challenge Experience in the Lewis & Clark from 3:30 p.m.-5:00p.m. Pre Conference Friday April 20th 2018. This the 4th year for this event.

Friday Dinner

Dinner will be on your own.

FRIDAY NIGHT PRESIDENT’S RECEPTION

The President’s Reception will be in the Lewis & Clark Room immediately following the Board of Director Meeting.

STATE CONFERENCE VENDORS

The Vendors will in the hallway from the hotel to the Herford House, from 8:00a.m. to 3:00p.m.

SATURDAY MORNING BREAKFAST

The breakfast area will be open for breakfast 6:30a.m

SATURDAY FIRST TIMERS

PSP Betty Beason will welcome the first timers at 7:30 a.m. in the Hotel Fire Place Area.

SATURDAY 97TH STATE CONFERENCE OPENING SESSION

The 97th State Conference will convene at 8:30 a.m. in the Oregon room. The door will open at 8:00 a.m. Our keynote speaker will be Past National President Nancy Jackson. Come join us as we officially kick off the 2018 State Conference. 

SATURDAY NOMINATIONS OF CANDIDATES

PSP Sherry Rolen, Nominations Chair, will report the list of all qualified candidates for state office during the opening session of the state conference. The names of these candidates shall be placed in nomination by the chair. Following the close of nominations, each candidate shall make a two-minute presentation. Nominations from the floor, as outlined in Nominations Appendix SECTION 6: of the state bylaws If there are nominations from the floor, all of the information specified in SECTION 3 shall be submitted to the chair no later than 2 hours before the opening session of the state conference so that eligibility may be determined.

REGIONAL DIRECTOR WORKSHOP

A workshop for the 2018-2019 Regional Directors and Regional Directors Elect will be held in the Lewis & Clark room at 7:30 a.m. Melissa Moore will be conducting the workshop. She will be your contact for questions and confirmation of your attendance.

SATURDAY BUSINESS SESSION

The first business session will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Oregon room. In addition to conducting business, award certificates will be included in the Club Presidents’ packets to be picked up at the registration desk. If you are responsible for the names for certificates, please email or mail them to the state office by April 1, 2018.

Following the BWM Foundation annual meeting, lunch will be served in the California room. The afternoon session will include voting for election of officers, if necessary, as well as the presentation of the Board recommendations and bylaws amendments.

PHOTOGRAPHER SATURDAY EVENING

We will have a photographer available before and after the Banquet.

EVENING – 97th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION BANQUET AND INSTALLATION OF OFFICERS

The doors to the banquet room will open at 6:00 p.m. The processional will begin at 6:30, with dinner served at 7:00 p.m. The highlight of the evening will be the Awards of the IG Program, Issues Management, Legislative, Membership, and Mentoring. Then, we will enjoy the installation of Business Women of Missouri 2018-2019 President Debra Saffer, her Executive Committee and the Regional Directors. Everyone is invited to attend the reception for the newly installed officers following installation. Dessert will be served.

SUNDAY MORNING BREAKFAST FUNDRAISER

The Sunday breakfast prior to the business session will begin at 7:30 a.m. in the California room. With the Foundation Quarter mania Paddle Party. This traditional breakfast is a fun way to begin the day and President Debra’s year.

SUNDAY MORNING BUSINESS SESSION

The last business session of the 2018 State Conference will convene at 9:00 in the Oregon room. The excitement will continue as President Debra presents her board for 2018-2019. Come celebrate with us as we officially begin an exciting new year for Business Women of Missouri! The 97th Annual State Conference will adjourn by noon.

FOUNDATION Quarter Mania Paddle Party

This year the Foundation has requested that each Local Club donate a basket with a value of $25.00 to $50.00 that will be auctioned during the Sunday breakfast by holding a Paddle Party auction. The breakfast will be held in California room and will start at 7:30 a.m. 

SUGGESTED ATTIRE

The suggested clothing attire during the board meeting and conference business sessions is “business casual”. Preferred attire for Saturday night’s celebration is cocktail or formal for Local Presidents, PSPs, and Executive Committee, as we will be taking group pictures. All other attendees are left to personal choice.

State Conference Chair PSP Vicki Silkwood and I want you to enjoy a memorable 2018 State Conference. Treat yourself to a fun weekend with your BWM sisters!

Sheila Miller, State President

December Board Meeting Scheduled for 1st-2nd in Branson

Will We See You In Branson?

By popular demand, the Grand Plaza in Branson is the site for the December Board meeting December 1-2. Save your calories on Friday so you can indulge with the Executive Committees Open House. They are making promises of soup, sandwiches and totally sinful desserts.

Of course we will once again hold the Foundation’s Annual Christmas Auction, where yours truly will be the auctioneer on record. Branson is an exciting place in December, so come early and stay a couple extra days to enjoy the Christmas festivities, unique to Branson. See a show or do some early holiday shopping.

Times for Friday and Saturday

Be there at 6:30 Friday night to join the group for the Open House followed by the Foundation Auction. Saturday morning you will enjoy an amazing hot breakfast buffet which is included in your room rate. You will then head to the Board of Directors meeting. Registration begins at 8:30 and the meeting at 9:00. There might be more goodies to share at that time as we exchange Christmas cards.

Room Reservations

Remember the reservations for the Grand Plaza Hotel are made through the Branson Tourism Center and must be placed by November 4, 2017. You can bring the family and spend an extra day or two. The rate is good for additional nights; just let the Tourism Center know when you make your reservations. The room rate is all-inclusive. NOTE: Calling the hotel directly will not get you the BWM rate but something much higher.

Foundation Auction

What’s in that beautifully wrapped package? Can you decipher the cleverly written clue to determine what it holds? We think the Foundation Auction will be the highlight of the December Board Meeting!

Once again, the Foundation will hold an auction on Friday night during the Christmas Open House. The Foundation asks everyone to bring a wrapped gift with a clue to the contents. The gift should be new or gently used, and something you would like to receive. The clue may be funny, mysterious, or to the point. Remember, the money raised contributes to the Foundation Scholarship Fund, which aids deserving women to further their education. We appreciate the EC and all BWM sisters who help the Foundation award scholarships.

Here’s What You Need To Do

  1. Register for the Board Meeting
  2. Reserve Your Room through the Branson Tourism Center
  3. Bring a Wrapped Gift for the Auction with a Clue
  4. Bring Your Puzzle Piece from the State Conference (We want to put the puzzle together!)
  5. Bring any Christmas Cards or Goodies You’d Like to Share with Fellow Members

We’re excited to see all of you!

— Mary Clark and BWM Foundation

Note: The above information can be found in the Fall Edition of the Missouri Business Woman Magazine.

Issues Topics 2017 2018 Business Women Missouri

BWM Issues Topics for 2017-2018

Every year, our organization sets goals and topics for the year that we are striving to accomplish. For the 2017-2018 year, and under our President’s them “Piecing Lives Together” we are focusing on the following topics in the various programs we run all year long:

Issues Management Topics 2017-2018

Piecing Lives Together:

  1. Request a speaker to raise awareness on the topics of domestic violence, human trafficking and child abuse, and provide support to the agencies working with these individuals.
  2. We can support women in the military serving and their families.
  3. We can mentor and empower women through education and support our Business Women of Missouri Foundation.
  4. We can expand, encourage, and invite others in our communities to increase our membership.
  5. Encourage members to become more involved in the community to make your local more visible.

This can be achieved by inviting guest speakers, advertising monthly meetings, and sending photos to local newspapers with information highlighting the work of each local. Keep President Shelia’s goals in mind to accomplish this.

Individual Growth Topics 2017-2018

  1. How can I piece lives together by encouraging my club to get involved in our community and as a result making our club more visible.
  2. Piece lives together by raising of Human Trafficking.
  3. Piece lives together by promoting the BWM Foundation to empower Women through education.

Generations Taking Charge Topics 2017-2018

  1. How can I make difference in awareness of the increase of Domestic Violence, Human Trafficking, and Child Abuse?
  2. What would the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment mean for me, and how can I help to achieve ratification?
  3. What will I take away from taking part in the Generations Taking Charge program?

Mentoring Topics 2017-2018

  1. Have each Club implement a plan to have older members mentor the newer ones.
  2. Have each Club implement a plan to contact/mentor club members that are absent from meetings.
  3. Have each Club implement a plan to get involved in the Community to make BWM more visible.

Leadership Conference 2017 Scheduled For August 4-5th In St. Clair

It is time to start making plans to participate in the August Leadership Conference. Friday, August 4, Sheila will preside at the board meeting. Board members are expected to attend, but other members are welcome. Saturday will be a busy day with three speakers on the agenda. Micah Weirich of Three Rivers is organizing the event and has provided information about the speakers. Register today!

Meet The Speakers

Lisa York will lead a crash course in self-defense. She has a diverse, comprehensive background that provides a solid foundation for all that she does. She has over 11 years combined experience in coaching, teaching, and training people in self-defense, basic gun training, conceal carry training, and protection in/out of home.

Lisa is the founder of Midwest Personal Protection. She is a high energy, entertaining seminar presenter and self defense instructor. Her offerings include a variety of assertiveness, conflict resolution and self-defense training for females ages 11 years old and up in the form of group seminars, private trainings, workshops, ladies night-ins, home parties, college safety presentations and more in the St. Charles, St. Louis and surrounding areas.

Lisa is passionate about teaching and training personal protection, mostly because it is very personal to her. Lisa was abused at a young age, and as an adult continued to engage in unhealthy relationships. In 2012, Lisa was raped by an authority figure, she knew. She took that experience and vowed that she would teach as many females she could how to protect themselves and to believe in themselves.

Sila Karacal serves as the Assistant Prosecutor in Franklin County and handles domestic violence cases. We are honored to have her as a speaker this year for Leadership Conference. She was honored as Woman of the Year by the Three Rivers club this past year.

Amy Eagan is a business, career, leadership, team building, and culture coach. She will be celebrating her 11th Anniversary with The Quality Coach in December. The Quality Coach! is a full service business-educational, coaching and consulting group dedicated to helping others improve quality, customer retention, productivity and profits by leveraging the people side of their business.

Amy recently started her own business, Why Not Choose? The idea that this life is a GIFT is a belief she holds dear. Every moment is an opportunity to LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE and to help others do the same. She believes that we can have great work AND personal lives, each feeding the other. For the past 10 years, she has helped clients using a Coach Approach and Assessments for self-awareness and effectiveness with others. This is her passion and vocation!

See you in August!

Micah Weirich, Leadership Conference chair concludes, “It has been my goal to find interactive, intriguing, and motivated speakers. I hope to keep the conference light, fun, and upbeat as well as informative. I’m positive that everyone will take useful information away from this conference! I hope to see many of you at Budget Lodging in St. Clair in August!”

Click to Register for Leadership Conference 2017!

Olympian Amy Van Dyken-Rouen on skiing after paralysis: ‘This to me is freedom’

Olympic swimming gold medalist Amy Van Dyken-Rouen has got herself a new ride: An adaptive ski that allows the paralyzed athlete to charge downhill.

“I had dreams about this!” she told TODAY while gliding downhill on the slopes of Colorado’s Breckenridge Education Center.

Taking on the sport marks another milestone for Van Dyken-Rouen, who was left paralyzed from the waist down after a 2014 ATV accident severed her spine.

Despite her injuries, she emerged from the accident, and numerous surgeries, with the same spirit that helped her earn six Olympic gold medals in Atlanta and Sydney. She’s surpassed the expectations of doctors, feeling reflexes in her knees and ankles and even walking with the help of an exo-skeleton.

Now, she’s taken on a new challenge: downhill skiing.

“It’s like freedom. A lot of people who are injured say that getting in the swimming pool is liberating and free for them. For me, that’s where I feel the most paralyzed,” she said.

“This to me is freedom.”

Amy’s husband, Tom Rouen, said skiing allows his wife to help fulfill the competitive fire that continues to burn inside of her.

TODAY

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen said she’s had dreams about downhill skiing.

“From the day she woke up in surgery, I just could never understand how happy she was, and so excited about life,” he said. “That’s just so infectious.”

RELATED: Olympian Amy Van Dyken-Rouen on life after ATV accident: ‘I’m on borrowed time’

Van Dyken-Rouen has not only served as an inspiration in her own recovery, but to others through Amy’s Army, the foundation she and her husband created to help others with spinal cord injuries.

She hopes to show by example that even a severed spine can’t take away the thrill of speeding downhill. She said it’s a feeling she’s chased ever since her accident.

TODAY

The Olympic swimming champion said she no longer finds the pool liberating. Instead, “this to me is freedom.”

“You know, when they say, ‘You’ll never be able?’ No. That’s again a hurdle or a wall that you’re going to either go over or around or break under it or do whatever to get through it,” she said.

RELATED: Hotel apologizes to Amy Van Dyken-Rouen after employee calls her ‘a cripple’

“For people who are wondering if they can, stop wondering and get out there and do it,” she said. “The scariest part is getting in here and going on that first lift. And after that, it’s so much fun. Please just do it, you know?”

“Eyes and Ears Wide Open” Human Trafficking Awareness/Action

“Eyes and Ears Wide Open” 

Sponsored by the Central Missouri Stop Human Trafficking Coalition

                         NO ONE CAN DO EVERYTHING, BUT EVERYONE CAN DO SOMETHING!

TAKE ACTION NOW!!

  1. Get educated – Read Christine’s books and other books written by survivors, Check out websites, Follow trafficking news, Follow legislation, Watch documentaries and videos, Follow CMSHTC and other orgs on Facebook, Twitter.
  2. Help others get educated – Request a program from CMSHTC, including a survivor guest speaker, Suggest or host opportunities/events like a documentary screening for friends, at school, place of worship, workplace, civic group, Use Social Media to share info, Talk to your kids!
  3. Support CMSHTC or your local org – Sign up for email, Follow on Facebook or Twitter, Become a member, Attend monthly meetings, Volunteer, Donate, Help form partnerships for education programs and fundraising, Shop Amazon Smile and select the Central Missouri Stop Human Trafficking Coalition as your charitable organization, Sign Up for Freedom Walk 2017, April 30.
  4. Participate in Legislative Advocacy – Give or submit testimony at hearings, Sign petitions, Contact and communicate to your local, state, and federal legislators.
  5. Do slaveryfootprint.org survey, find out how many slaves work for you!
  6. Shop to eat/wear Slave-Free, Fair Trade, Direct Trade; Go to Farmers Markets, Used Clothing Stores; Recyle/Upcycle what you have.
  7. Download and Use the TraffickCam app.
  8. Keep the National Hotline number 888-373-7888 handy; Call to Report!

Web: stophumantraffickingmo.com             Email: help@stophumantraffickingmo.com

Ph: (866) 590-5959                       Facebook @CMSHTC                    Twitter @No_MO_Slaves

House Bill 610 Choices in Education Act of 2017

Legislative Alert

Call, Write, or Email Your U.S. Representative

House Bill 610 Choices in Education Act of 2017

House Bill 610 (HR 610) makes some large changes. This bill will effectively start the school voucher system to be used by children ages 5-17, and starts the defunding process of public schools.

In addition, the bill will eliminate the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 which is the nation’s educational law and provides equal opportunity in education. ESSA is a big comprehensive program that covers programs for struggling learners, AP classes, ESL classes, classes for minorities such as Native Americans, Rural Education, Education for the Homeless, School Safety (Gun-Free schools), Monitoring and Compliance and Federal Accountability Programs.

Introduced in House (01/23/2017)

Choices in Education Act of 2017

This bill repeals the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and limits the authority of the Department of Education (ED) such that ED is authorized only to award block grants to qualified states.

The bill establishes an education voucher program, through which each state shall distribute block grant funds among local educational agencies (LEAs) based on the number of eligible children within each LEA’s geographical area. From these amounts, each LEA shall: (1) distribute a portion of funds to parents who elect to enroll their child in a private school or to home-school their child, and (2) do so in a manner that ensures that such payments will be used for appropriate educational expenses.

To be eligible to receive a block grant, a state must: (1) comply with education voucher program requirements, and (2) make it lawful for parents of an eligible child to elect to enroll their child in any public or private elementary or secondary school in the state or to home-school their child.

No Hungry Kids Act

The bill repeals a specified rule that established certain nutrition standards for the national school lunch and breakfast programs. (In general, the rule requires schools to increase the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or fat free milk in school meals; reduce the levels of sodium, saturated fat, and trans fat in school meals; and meet children’s nutritional needs within their caloric requirements.)

source for act summary: congress.gov

Why Do Women Outnumber Men in College?

“Women earned 45.1 percent of bachelor’s degrees in business in 1984-5 and 50 percent by 2001-2, up from only 9.1 percent in 1970-1.”

It is fairly well known that women today outnumber men in American colleges. In 2003, there were 1.35 females for every male who graduated from a four-year college and 1.3 females for every male undergraduate. That contrasts with 1960, when there were 1.6 males for every female graduating from a U.S. four-year college and 1.55 males for every female undergraduate. How come this switch?

In The Homecoming of American College Women: The Reversal of the College Gender Gap (NBER Working Paper No. 12139), authors Claudia GoldinLawrence Katz, and Ilyana Kuziemko offer some explanations for the change. In the post-World War II era, they note, the financial return to women of higher education greatly increased. At first, from the late 1950s to the early 1970s, women tended to pursue female-intensive occupations such as teaching and social work after graduation. So, they majored in education, English, and literature, perhaps, and they often aimed at finding suitable mates in college.

Indeed, these female college graduates had a high fertility rate after marriage, being the mothers of the Baby Boom generation. In 1960, the labor force participation of female college graduates in their twenties and thirties was low: only 39 percent of 30-to-34-year olds were employed and 47 percent of those employed were teachers; 73 percent had children at home. A decade later, only 49 percent of the 1970 graduates were employed at ages 30 to 34, and 55 percent of those with jobs were teachers.

But beginning in the late 1960s and early 1970s, young women’s expectations of their future labor force participation changed radically. Rather than follow in their mothers’ footsteps, they aimed to have careers, not just jobs. These careers were often outside of the traditionally female occupations for women. In high school, they took more science and math courses. As a result, their twelfth grade math and reading test scores increased relative to those of boys. For the college graduates of 1980, when they reached 30-to-34 years of age, 70 percent were employed, only 36 percent of those employed were teachers, and 60 percent had children at home. The authors figure that about 30 to 60 percent of the increase in the female-to-male ratios of college graduates from the 1970s to the 1990s can be explained by these changes.

Another relevant factor in the gender shift, the age of female college graduates’ first marriage, increased by about 2.5 years in the 1970s. Whereas from the 1950s to the early 1970s women had tended to marry a little more than a year after graduation, by 1981 the median age of marriage for college-educated women was 25. This delay allowed many women to be more serious students and less concerned about securing a husband while pursuing an undergraduate degree.

Adding to the possibility of a greater investment in professional careers was the availability of the contraceptive “pill.” Women could better plan their futures. With a resurgence of feminism, young women also felt more empowered. They had greater guarantees by the government that job discrimination by employers against women would not be tolerated. They anticipated a more even playing field with respect to men in terms of access to high-paying careers for college graduates and to professional and graduate college programs, the authors note. Since 1980, the wage premium for a college degree has risen, especially for women. Over a lifetime, many women have taken time out from work to look after their children full time. But more recently, their participation in the labor force has begun to resemble that of men. “The jury is still out concerning whether the full lifetime economic returns to college are greater for women than for men,” the authors write.

One sign of rising expectations by women is shown in the fact that women earned 45.1 percent of bachelor’s degrees in business in 1984-5 and 50 percent by 2001-2, up from only 9.1 percent in 1970-1. Similar large increases in the female share of BAs also have occurred in the life sciences, physical sciences, and engineering since the early 1970s. It also could be that the rise in divorce rates since the 1960s and women’s greater responsibility for children have prompted women to see an investment in college as an insurance policy for their future financial lives.

Another aspect in the reversal of the college gender gap, rather than just its elimination, is the persistence of behavioral and developmental differences between males and females. Boys often mature more slowly than girls. In grades K-12, boys tend to have a higher incidence of behavioral problems (or lower level of non-cognitive skills) than girls. Girls spend more time doing homework than boys. These behavioral factors, after adjusting for family background, test scores, and high school achievement, can explain virtually the entire female advantage in getting into college for the high school graduating class of 1992, the authors figure. It allowed “girls to leapfrog over boys in the race to college.” Similarly, teenage boys, both in the early 1980s and late 1990s, had a higher (self-reported) incidence of arrests and school suspensions than teenage girls.

The “homecoming” in the authors’ title to their paper refers to the fact that by 1980 the gender balance in college had returned to its pre-1930 level in the United States, although the levels of college attendance were almost six times higher in 1980 than in the 1920s for both men and women. The number of male-to-female undergraduates was about at parity from 1900 to 1930. Many females were attending teacher-training colleges in those days. The highpoint of gender imbalance in college attendance was reached in 1947, after the return of men from World War II then eligible for educational subsidies through the GI bills, when undergraduate men outnumbered women 2.3 to 1. Women’s relative numbers in college have increased ever since the 1950s, with a pause when many men went to college to avoid serving in the Vietnam War. The decline in the male-to-female ratios of undergraduates in the past 35 years is real, and not primarily due to changes in the ethnic mix of the college-aged population or to the types of post-secondary institutions they attend, the authors assert. The female share of college students has expanded in all 17 member-nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in recent decades, so much so that women now outnumber men in college in almost all rich nations.

— David R. Francis

The Digest is not copyrighted and may be reproduced freely with appropriate attribution of source.