Programs & Impact

Surviving to Thriving: Economic Issues for Women in Central Texas

Economic sustainability for a woman and her family is essential for securing present and future success. On May 12th, the Women’s Fund explored data from a recent study released by the Dallas Women’s Foundation on the critical building blocks of economic security. The study looks at policies and practices at the state level, and identifies areas of opportunity where innovation and investment can help women and their families move from surviving to thriving.

The panel consisted of local experts and community leaders who are working to improve the economic security of women through the essential supports of affordable housing and quality child care. Read the full report.


A Woman Speaks: Women's Fund Grantee Breakfast

"When women lead, the world wins," said Lisa Fritsch, keynote speaker of the Women's Fund Grantee Awards Breakfast last month. Fritsch explained that her run for Governor of Texas educated her about how women seeking leadership are often called out for failures that in men are viewed as strengths. Ultimately, her quest to lead brought her to a deeper understanding of herself and her leadership role. Over a hundred Women's Fund investors, nonprofit leaders and community members, who share the value of investing in women to lift our Central Texas community, were inspired by Fritsch's remarks as well as by the grants that were announced.

By seeking to improve opportunities for women and children in Central Texas, the Women's Fund helps Austin Community Foundation fulfill its strategic initiative to close the opportunity gap. Since its inception in 2004, the Women's Fund has invested over $1.4 million into our community, most recently through data-driven grantmaking.

The Women's Fund awarded grants in 6 indicator areas, and for the first time ever, the grants committee awarded a "committee choice award" to one nonprofit. In total, $123,500 was awarded to nonprofits who are closing the opportunity gap for women and children in our community.

Learn more about this year's Women's Fund grantees.

Keyholder 2016

Keyholder is the Women’s Fund’s special evening to convene as a community and take part in an important conversation on the proven efficiency of supporting women to impact entire communities.

Presented by U.S. Trust/Bank of America, Keyholder treated guests to a thought-provoking address by Andrea Jung, CEO of Grameen America, on women’s unique role as the most powerful engine of economic growth. After an engaging Q & A with Jung and Melinda Garvey, publisher of Austin Woman magazine, guests enjoyed conversation, tunes by DJ I Wanna Be Her and a donut bar.

Read more about Keyholder 2016 Outcomes.

Download the Keyholder 2016 Outcome Report

Gender Matters: Investing in Women Makes Sense

Women make 85% of consumer decisions, so it would make sense that women lead many of the companies selling those products, right? Hardly. In fact, when it comes to entrepreneurship, women are largely absent from the C-suite. The Women’s Fund of Central Texas, a program of the Foundation, invests in local women and children through research, leadership and grantmaking. At their recent Investing in Women: Grant Award Breakfast, guests learned some powerful facts about how investing in women delivers a strong return. In short, gender matters.

Keynote speaker Dr. Sara Brand, founding general partner of True Wealth Ventures, a venture capital fund designed to invest in women-led companies, shared her research about the untapped opportunity to invest in women entrepreneurs. Brand asserted that women-led businesses can make a positive impact through greener and healthier technologies and her research shows women-led businesses deliver a higher return for investors. Review Dr. Brand's presentation

Women Leaders Speak Up 

The Women’s Fund offers informative programs, tours and talks by leaders affecting change in our community to benefit women and children. Austin women leaders recently shared their insights, experiences and concerns about the biggest challenges women in our community face today. The discussion explored how women are challenged by pay inequity, the perception of being too ambitious and by company policies and culture that leave many women who are mothers averse to taking risks. Learn more about challenges facing women

Stronger Women, Better Austin

The Women’s Fund of Central Texas issued a report on what life is really like for Austin women and children entitled Stronger Women, Better Austin. Developed by a committee of Women's Fund members and community leaders, the report looks at demographics, basic needs, economic sustainability, education, health, safety and leadership for Travis County women and children. Download the report.


Economic Issues Affecting Women in Austin

Did you know? Austin women earn $9,000/year less than men. This startling and sobering fact was announced as part of a report, Economic Issues for Women in Texas, produced by the Texas Women's Foundation and the Center for Public Policy Priorities. The Women's Fund of Central Texas helped release the report locally.

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