The purpose of the Houston Focus on Concerns for Women is to further, by all proper and legitimate agencies and means, professional development and business ethics, to encourage personal and professional growth, to encourage global and financial awareness and to support activities which encourage professional, ethical, civic and fiscal responsibility for executive and entrepreneurial women.
HFCW extends the opportunity of membership to both men and women. As a member of HFCW, members are automatically members of The Federation of Houston Professional Women (FHPW)i. FHPW. HFCW has been an active member of FHPW since the 1980s. Seven past or current HFCW members have served the Federation as President. FHPW is an alliance of women's professional organizations, is a non-profit, non-partisan business league.
HFCW HistoryA Brief History of Houston Focus on Concerns for Women (formerly Houston Financial Council for Women)
"The Story of the Phoenix is the story of Man and Woman and his or her environment. The Phoenix rises when there is a breakthrough of awareness, with life energy released in a new way. A new individual appears. Thus, the Phoenix rises and mankind is reborn out of the structure of the past in a peaceful evolution," said Joyce Steel, the founder of HFCW, during the first rebirths of this group in the early 1980’s. Houston Focus on Concerns for Women has seen the Phoenix arise, while watching the phenomenal growth of business and entrepreneurial women throughout the past 30 years.
Houston Financial Council for Women was founded on October 30, 1974. The original stated purpose was: To further by all proper and legitimate agencies and means the dissemination of information relating to financial awareness in women and to encourage, support and organize educational activities that further and promote financial awareness in women. Though not stated in the by-laws, underlying planning guidelines were: 1) to preserve individual integrity 2) to meet the needs of the human spirit 3) to promote a sense of individual responsibility in developing a satisfactory sense of values and 4) to encourage group consciousness of basic local, state, national and global relationships so that the world community may in fact function. Two local banks were the original sponsors - no membership dues were charged. One had to be invited to join and there was no lack of interest in the group.
Republic of Texas Bank assumed full sponsorship of the group in April 1975, and four months later HFCW achieved its first goal of 50 Charter Members.
HFCW’s first rebirth occurred when it reorganized and amended by-laws in after losing it’s corporate sponsorship. From then on there were no class distinctions and everyone would be a dues-paying member. That same year, after lunches, dinners and happy hours in various restaurants, the group settled into fourth Wednesday luncheons at one location. We still have active members (Leigh Owen and Marilyn Turner) from that pivotal year.
Everyone who has been around a few years has an anecdote or story to tell that reveals a warm, personal side of someone whom they so greatly admire. We have come together, exchanged knowledge and ideas and influenced lives in a variety of ways.
HFCW has been witness to and has helped to foster the education and professional growth of Houston-area executive and entrepreneurial women throughout the past 30 years. We have played an instrumental role in the growth of the Federation of Houston Professional Women by providing numerous directors and have had 7 members serve as FHPW President. The business world and women’s place in it is not the same as it was in 1974, thanks to the decades of women before us.
The charter members looked expectantly to the 1970’s, a reborn group looked to grow in the 1980’s, the 1990’s maintained an active and vibrant membership. The end of that decade saw some long-time members retirement. This new millennium, changes in the business world and our group bring us again to a rebirth.
Today our purpose is to further by all proper and legitimate agencies and means professional development and business ethics, to encourage personal and professional growth, to encourage global and financial awareness and to support activities that encourage professional, ethical, civic and fiscal responsibility for executive and entrepreneurial women. Our goal for the future will be build on the foundation of our foremothers but look for council from our current members.
download or view a pdf copy of our bylaws.
Friendly Advice from HFCW Members.