It’s no secret that working moms and parents have been struggling extra over these past two years. With the pandemic and a shift in not only working in the office but where the kids do school, parents, and moms, in particular, have been juggling a lot. Even before the pandemic, data showed that working moms faced an uphill battle in the workforce, from wage gaps to being “mommy-tracked” for having familial responsibilities, and have faced obstacles that don’t impact working dads in the same way.
Those struggles were exacerbated in the pandemic, where women left the workforce in scores due to collapsing child care availability and where parents struggled to figure out how to make it work in their new normal. While we all have similar struggles, not all states are made the same, and a new poll shows the best and worst states for working moms based on several key metrics.
WalletHub wanted to determine which states were the best for working moms and which states were the worse. Using data, WalletHub compared 50 states, and the District of Columbia, looking at key metrics that are important when it comes to supporting moms in the workforce. The data pulls out 17 relevant metrics including childcare, work-life balance, and professional opportunities.
“Progress appears to be taking shape at different rates across the nation,” WalletHub writes. “Not only do parental leave policies and other legal support systems vary by state, but the quality of infrastructure — from cost-effective daycare to public schools — is far from uniform as well.”
To put the states in order of best to worst, each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with 100 representing the best for working moms. Each of the metrics was given a graded score and then an average of all 17 metrics was done to determine the order of states from best to worst.
The data is important not just for moms, but also for their partners and dads. After all, policies and realities of working that affect working moms surely affect working dads — if not directly (like if the government were to finally pass a federal paid leave program or a program that subsidizes and funds child care centers and makes them more affordable for parents) then indirectly (like professional opportunities or workplaces that support working parents and their work-life balance.) So where should families live if they want to be in a place that supports working moms and families? There are some standout losers — and winners.
Based on the weighted metrics, WalletHub determined the worst states for working moms are:
7. West Virginia
4. South Carolina
1. Louisiana — the worst state for working moms scored poorly in childcare and professional opportunities and landed in the middle for work-life balance.
But there are some states that stand out and offer great support to working moms, including:
10. New Hampshire
9. New York
8. New Jersey
6. District of Columbia
3. Rhode Island
1. Massachusetts — the best state for working moms scored highest in work-life balance, followed by good scores in childcare, and landed in the middle-top for professional opportunities.