10 Worst States for Women

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Indianapolis, Indiana

7. Indiana
> Female earnings as pct. of male: 75.9% (12th lowest)
> Pct. mgmt. jobs held by women: 40.8% (17th highest)
> Pct. 3-4 yr. olds enrolled in state pre-K: 0% (the lowest)
> Pct. legislative seats held by women: 20.7% (16th lowest)

State-funded day care programs are important as their presence means families are not forced to make tough decisions in balancing careers and child care. Indiana does not offer taxpayer-funded pre-K, however, and as a result, many parents with young children must either leave the workforce or incur the high cost of private daycare.

Women are also less likely to hold elected office in Indiana than in most other states. In the 200 years since Indiana became a state, a woman has never once been elected governor.

North Dakota Badlands

6. North Dakota
> Female earnings as pct. of male: 71.1% (5th lowest)
> Pct. mgmt. jobs held by women: 31.1% (2nd lowest)
> Pct. 3-4 yr. olds enrolled in state pre-K: 0% (the lowest)
> Pct. legislative seats held by women: 19.1% (13th lowest)

One of the most important measures of women’s equality in the workplace is their ability to be promoted to higher-paying roles. In North Dakota, just 31.1% of all management occupations are held by women, a smaller share than in any state except for South Dakota.
North Dakota is one of just eight states with no pre-K funding, which can help young families save money on childcare, and makes it easier for mothers to return to work after having children.

Pierre, South Dakota

5. South Dakota
> Female earnings as pct. of male: 78.1% (20th lowest)
> Pct. mgmt. jobs held by women: 29.3% (the lowest)
> Pct. 3-4 yr. olds enrolled in state pre-K: 0% (the lowest)
> Pct. legislative seats held by women: 21.0% (18th lowest)

There are eight states that provide no pre-K funding, and South Dakota is one of them. With no state-funded pre-K program, women with young children are less likely to be able to participate in the workforce, ultimately making them more likely to be financially dependent.

Those women who are working in the state earn considerably less than their male counterparts. The typical full-time salary among women in the state is only $33,268, well below the $42,605 salary of the typical male worker in South Dakota.

Provo, Utah

4. Utah
> Female earnings as pct. of male: 71.1% (4th lowest)
> Pct. mgmt. jobs held by women: 34.5% (4th lowest)
> Pct. 3-4 yr. olds enrolled in state pre-K: 0% (the lowest)
> Pct. legislative seats held by women: 15.4% (7th lowest)

Few states have a wider gender pay gap than Utah. The typical male worker in the state is paid $50,741, while his female counterpart earns $36,060, or nearly $15,000 less.

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The substantial gap between male and female earnings in Utah is likely due in part to unequal pay for the similar work. It can also potentially be attributed to the kinds of jobs women tend to hold in the state. If educational attainment is any indication, Utah women may be less represented in jobs that require a college degree, and are usually higher-paying. Just 29.3% of state women have a college education, compared to 34.4% of men in the state.