NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Men, on average, still earn more money than women. But, new research shows women making huge gains toward closing that gap — especially in Texas.

The study shows Texas women are managing to earn more, despite the tough economy.

Charmaine Tang was a Wall Street investment banker who is now a stay-at-home mom. Tang and her partner are turning their parenting and professional experience into a successful business called “Kidville”.

“My family were immigrants to the United States, so it’s just great to see women taking their education, taking their background,” said Tang. “Closing the gap is tremendous.”

According to experts, more women are becoming their own bosses as they look to find a better work/life balance.

A good education is also helping shrink the earnings gap.

“Women are becoming engineers, doctors and lawyers, all of those high income professions, and that’s starting to pay off for them,” explained Mike Davis with the Southern Methodist University (SMU) Cox School of Business.

In 2010 Texas women, who worked full-time, had median weekly earnings of $611. That amount is 85.6-percent of the $714 made by Texas men.

But, the recession also hit male dominated industries like construction hard and many male workers saw their salaries shrink. Still, experts say when women prosper, so does the entire economy.

“Anytime you’ve got a group of qualified workers who are underemployed… that’s bad for the economy,” said Davis. “So, whether it’s women or minorities, if they’ve got job skills, they should be working.”

Although women’s earnings have continually climbed, the uptick in Texas this past year was the largest increase since records have been kept.

“I’ve been able to work on Wall Street and be a productive earner for my family, and I can only hope for my daughter’s generation, that that gap will no longer exist,” Tang said encouraged.

Texas women are actually outpacing the nation in closing the income gap. Nationwide, women earned a little more than 81-percent of the median income for men.