Special Report

Ranking Gender Inequality in All 50 States

Capitol Building in Dover, Delaware
Source: Thinkstock

16. Delaware
> Female earnings as pct. of male: 88.5% (2nd highest)
> Pct. mgmt. jobs held by women: 43.0% (7th highest)
> Pct. 3-4 yr. olds enrolled in state pre-K: 3.7% (17th lowest)
> Pct. legislative seats held by women: 24.2% (23rd lowest)

Nationwide, working women earn an average of 80% of their male counterparts’ wages. In Delaware, while income inequality still exists, it is considerably less pronounced. The typical salary among a woman working full time is 88.5% of the typical man’s salary.

Women hold relatively few elected political positions in Delaware. Though women comprise 24% of the state legislature, roughly in line with the corresponding national average, none of the state’s three congressional delegates are female.

Farm, Wisconsin
Source: Thinkstock

17. Wisconsin
> Female earnings as pct. of male: 78.3% (21st lowest)
> Pct. mgmt. jobs held by women: 38.4% (16th lowest)
> Pct. 3-4 yr. olds enrolled in state pre-K: 32.5% (6th highest)
> Pct. legislative seats held by women: 25.0% (22nd highest)

State funded pre-K programs, while important for children’s cognitive development, also allow both parents to participate in the work force. More specifically, they can allow mothers to work and maintain financial independence without having to pay for private daycare or pre-K programs. In Wisconsin, a state that invests $3,802 per child on day care services, 63.7% of four-year-olds are enrolled in a taxpayer-funded daycare program, a larger share than in all but four other states.

Stark, New Hampshire
Source: Thinkstock

18. New Hampshire
> Female earnings as pct. of male: 76.4% (14th lowest)
> Pct. mgmt. jobs held by women: 40.2% (23rd highest)
> Pct. 3-4 yr. olds enrolled in state pre-K: 0% (the lowest)
> Pct. legislative seats held by women: 29.0% (12th highest)

Women hold considerable political power in New Hampshire. The state is one of only six to have a sitting female governor, and three out of four of the state’s congressional delegates are women, including both senators.

Despite considerable female representation in elected office, however, there are few legal provisions in place for pregnant women in the workplace. Neither public nor private sector employers in New Hampshire are required to make in-office accommodations for pregnant employees.

In awe at Maroon Bells, Colorado
Source: Thinkstock

19. Colorado
> Female earnings as pct. of male: 80.8% (21st highest)
> Pct. mgmt. jobs held by women: 38.4% (16th lowest)
> Pct. 3-4 yr. olds enrolled in state pre-K: 15.7% (21st highest)
> Pct. legislative seats held by women: 42.0% (the highest)

Women have considerable influence over laws in Colorado. Off the 100 state legislators, 42 are women, the largest share of any state in the country.

Women are less likely to have powerful roles in non-elected positions, however. Only 38% of management positions in Colorado are held by women, compared to 40% nationwide.

Charlotte North Carolina
Source: Thinkstock

20. North Carolina
> Female earnings as pct. of male: 85.9% (4th highest)
> Pct. mgmt. jobs held by women: 41.0% (13th highest)
> Pct. 3-4 yr. olds enrolled in state pre-K: 10.9% (24th highest)
> Pct. legislative seats held by women: 22.4% (20th lowest)

Nationwide, the typical salary for a woman working full-time is only about 80% of a comparable male salary. In North Carolina, the wage gap is slightly smaller. Women in the state earn about 86% of what men make.

State laws in North Carolina do not go especially far to protect women in the workplace, however. The state has not passed major legislation to expand federally mandated provisions concerning family leave for private sector jobs and pregnancy accommodations for both private, and public sector workers.

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