Women’s bachelor degree rates in Oregon

Medford, Ore. — A new report by the Women’s Foundation of Oregon shows women are still fighting for equality.

According to the ‘Count Her In’ report, only 25% of women in Jackson County earn bachelor’s degrees – that’s well below the state average of 31%. It’s a statistic that doesn’t surprise local students, but motivates them to work harder.

Christine White works at the Rogue Community College bookstore. ¬†She’s also a civil engineering student at RCC and a mother of two daughters.

“I think with women, it’s harder because – yeah, you’re expected to take on children and everything else still. And still do everything else that you were doing while you’re in school. Perhaps there’s more of a challenge there,” White said.

However, she said it’s because of her two girls that she wants to be part of the 25% who earn bachelor’s degrees.

“I think it gives me more incentive to make sure that i finish, because it’s setting that example. you know, not being one of the women that fall out,” White said.

She isn’t the only one using the statistics as motivation.

Priscilla Urena is an accounting student at SOU. She said the numbers don’t surprise her.

“It’s not something you want to hear, especially as woman yourself,” Urena said. But it doesn’t take a math whiz to crunch the numbers.

“It makes me feel like i need to be one of the percentage that actually does graduate. i want to get a degree and that’s the goal,” Urena said.

Upon graduation, Urena says she’ll be the first woman to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in her family.

“Hopefully I could inspire at least my family members or people that I know to graduate. They’ll see it does make a difference, a degree does matter. sometimes it’s not always to get a job but it’s there and hopefully one day it’ll get higher,” Urena said.

The ‘Count Her In’ report also found that for every one dollar a man makes in Jackson County,
a woman makes 80 cents. The 120-page report covered everything from health and wellness to poverty statistics.

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