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Two studies ranked Washington among the top 10 best states for working moms, here’s why

By Rosemary Montalvo, The News Tribune
Published: May 18, 2024, 11:00am

TACOMA — Just a couple of days ago, mothers around the country were celebrated and shown just how much they are cherished by those around them. But there is still an entire world where women are undervalued: the workforce.

As of 2024, women that are 16 years old and older make up 55.6% of the workforce in the U.S. As of last year, women with children under the age of 18 are 74% of the women in the workforce, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In Washington, women make up more than half of the workforce with more than 1.8 million women participating in the workforce in 2023, according to the BLS.

According to research from the Status of Women in the State in 2018, the pay gap between the genders has narrowed in Washington, but if the trend continues, women would not see equal pay until 2070. Women in Washington that work full-time year-round make a median salary of $44,000 per year which is 77.2 cents on the dollar compared with men.

But how does Washington stack up against other states in terms of supporting women, including working moms?

A recent study conducted by Wallethub compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia across three key dimensions that were evaluated using 17 key metrics including child-care costs, gender pay gap and parental-leave policies to find the best and worst states for working moms.

B2B Reviews, an online review company, also conducted a recent study that used 16 key metrics including the those used by Wallethub, and more, including the percentage of remote work opportunities, average grocery run and overall health and well-being. B2B reviews used these metrics to compare all 50 states and the District of Columbia to find the best and worst states for working moms. The review site ranked the Evergreen State among the top 10 states for working moms, but lower than Wallethub’s ranking.

Where did WA rank on Wallethub?

The three key dimensions that Wallethub used to determine the best and worst states for working moms were child care, professional opportunities and work-life balance. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a total of 40 points for child care, 30 points for professional opportunities and 30 points for work-life balance.

Based on this scale, Wallethub ranked Washington the overall seventh-best state in the U.S. for working moms.

Washington received a total score of 56.09 and was ranked third place for work-life balance, eighth for professional opportunities and 32nd for child care.

Wallethub analyst Cassandra Happe stated in an email that Washington was ranked the seventh-best place for working moms because of its strong work-life balance which is “driven by excellent parental leave policies and a manageable average work week for women.”

Happe also stated that the Evergreen State offers significant professional opportunities which are highlighted by a relatively narrow gender pay gap and a high median salary for women.

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The study also found that the Evergreen State has the second-best daycare systems in the country.

“Although child care costs are high and the number of childcare workers per child is low, Washington excels in day care quality and support for remote work, making it a favorable environment for working mothers,” Happe said.

These are the top 10 best states for working moms according to Wallethub:

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Rhode Island
  3. District of Columbia
  4. Connecticut
  5. Minnesota
  6. New Jersey
  7. Washington
  8. Vermont
  9. Wisconsin
  10. Maine

Where did WA rank on B2B Reviews?

The four key dimensions B2B Reviews used to determine the best and worst states for working moms were the state of childcare, job market, work-life balance and health and cost of living. The review company also graded each metric on a 100-point scale with each category scoring a total of 25 points.

B2B Reviews ranked Washington the overall 10th-best state for working moms.

According to the study, Washington received a total weighted score of 60, which translated to an 82.4% score out of 100%.

Washington received 13 points for child care, 15 points for job market, 18 points for work-life balance and health and 14 points for the cost of living.

Although Wallethub found that Washington had some of the best daycare systems, B2B Reviews found that Washington has one of the highest percentage costs for childcare.

These are the top ten best states for working moms according to B2B Reviews:

  1. New Hampshire
  2. Maryland
  3. South Dakota
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Vermont
  6. North Dakota
  7. Colorado
  8. Connecticut
  9. Oregon
  10. Washington
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