Most people are well aware of how Houston was created: The Allen Brothers, a pair of fast-talking New York speculators, arrived in Texas in the 1830s, and decided to settle here. One fairly misleading advertisement later—it failed to mention the site they’d purchased along Buffalo Bayou was mostly mosquito-filled swamp —Houston was born.

But the history books often gloss over the crucial role Charlotte Baldwin Allen, wife of Augustus, played in kicking off the scam that founded the city. It was she who provided the inheritance money the brothers used to purchase the land in the first place. The expectation was (and all too often, still is) that women should contribute behind the scenes and never receive credit.

Thankfully, the world isn't the same place it was during the Allens’ day. The following pages document inspiring Houston women past and present, showing both how we got here, and what it’s like to be a woman right now in this city. The Houstonians we’ve shined a light on—who have risen to the top of their professions, even in traditionally male-dominated fields, often facing incredible sexism along the way—are still working to figure out what exactly it means to be a woman in Houston in this day and age.

Some things have changed since Charlotte Baldwin Allen first set up housekeeping along Buffalo Bayou, but there’s still a long way to go—much work to be done, progress to be made, wrongs to be righted, ceilings to be smashed. Still, Houstonian women have come a long way, indeed, and in this and every issue of Houstonia, we’ll be cheering them ever onward, ever upward.

In This Feature:

10 Houston Women Making It Happen

These Houstonians show us what it means to be a woman in Houston in this day and age.

01/30/2018 By Houstonia Staff

The State of Houston and Texas Womanhood, By the Numbers

What is it like to be a woman in Houston and Texas? We have the data.

01/30/2018 By Laura Furr Mericas Illustrations by Amy Kinkead

The 1977 National Women's Conference in Houston Was Supposed to Change the World. What Went Wrong?

Today, Gloria Steinem calls it “the most important event that nobody knows about.” Why?

01/30/2018 By Dianna Wray

6 Houston Women Leading the Way in Male-Dominated Jobs

These women are breaking glass ceilings all over the place.

01/30/2018 By Roxanna Asgarian, Gwendolyn Knapp, Abby Ledoux, and Laura Furr Mericas

8 Houston Women to Watch on Social Media

Follow these Houston influencers.

01/30/2018 By Brittanie Shey