SEE VIDEO: President Ed Schrader Projects Investing in Educating Southern Women Would Yield $2.4 Trillion
Brenau University President Ed Schrader projected that expanding investments in educating traditional-aged Southern women would yield a $2.4 trillion economic windfall over a 35-year period in increased lifetime earning potential alone for that demographic group. As the only male speaker at the 2013 TEDx Centennial Park Women conference in Atlanta, Schrader pointed out that the South today has the largest number of women in the traditional 18-24 age group who do not go to college than any other region of the country.
Schrader’s comments preceded, but paralleled, President and Mrs. Obama’s January 2014 strong urging of college leaders to do more to recruit and retain students, saying the nation suffers when capable young people fail to go to college and graduate. The Brenau president argued that statistics bolster the contention that, despite gains for women in the region in the past four decades, many institution and political roadblocks remain, and, consequently, women in the South still receive “less pay and less opportunity to advance” than their male counterparts. Correcting that has economic, social and – for Schrader, at least – personal implications.
Showing the group a photo of one of his four granddaughters, he said she, like others, “should be able to compete and ascend to her own capabilities and potential without artificial boundaries or constraints.”
The 900-student Brenau Women’s College, the liberal arts cornerstone of the 3,000-student university, is one of only 48 women’s colleges in existence in the United States. In the 1960s, there were more than 350. Schrader said the Women’s College will continue to do its part in helping to overturn outdated mores, customs and political inhibitors to improving the status of the gender.
“Women who are educated and capable of not being tied to someone else’s earnings, then they can make their own decisions about family size, about reproductivity, what they want to do with their lives, and what is best for their families. But when they are tied to someone else’s earning capability, then their choices are limited or eliminated. Education is not only economically freeing, it is personally freeing.”
The full video of Schrader’s Dec. 6 presentation is available below or on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bINay0YsClU