SALT LAKE CITY – Two studies completed by the Utah Women and Education Initiative have analyzed degrees and graduation rates for women in the state and found room for improvement.
“It is noteworthy that a recent study showed that of 51 metropolitan areas with at least one million people, the greatest differences between the sexes were found in the Salt Lake City-Ogden-Clearfield area,” said Dr. Susan Madsen, a senior advisor to the UWEI and a management professor at Utah Valley University, in a press release.
One study showed that in Utah, 37.5 percent of men and 28.3 percent of women ages 25 and older had bachelor’s degrees or higher.
The second study found that women in Utah make up 50.6 percent of college enrollment and that 49 percent graduate.
Those numbers compare well with the statistics for men in the state. Men make up 49.4 percent of those in college but only 43.7 percent graduate.
Nationally, the percentages are higher. Statistics show women make up 57 percent of college enrollments and that 58.5 percent graduate, a number 9.5 percent higher than Utah’s rate.
“Women clearly face unique challenges in balancing families, jobs and education, and this is what we are working to address,” said Mary Ann Holladay, director of the UWEI.
The studies were compiled in support of the goal that 66 percent of Utah’s adults hold a post-secondary degree or vocational certificate by the year 2020.