With Women’s Equality Day having just passed and the U.S. in 28th position on the Global Gender Gap Index — falling eight places since 2014 — the personal-finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2016’s Best & Worst States for Women’s Equality.
In order to determine the most gender-egalitarian states, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states across 15 key metrics. Our data set ranges from the gap between female and male executives to the disparity between women’s and men’s unemployment rates.
Women’s Equality in New York (1=Best; 25=Avg.):
- 12th – Earnings Disparity
- 13th – Work Hours Disparity
- 5th – Minimum-Wage Workers Disparity
- 1st – Unemployment Rate Disparity
- 6th – Political Representation Disparity
Women’s rights in the U.S. have made leaps and bounds since the passage of the 19th Amendment. Yet many women still struggle to crack the proverbial glass ceiling. Feminist or not, any American can easily discern the disgracefully wide gender gap in 21st-century America. In 2015, the U.S. failed to make the top 10 or even the top 20 of the World Economic Forum’s ranking of the most gender-equal countries — currently in 28th position and falling eight places behind several developing nations since 2014.
Perhaps most apparent about the issue is how far gender inequality stretches in the workplace. Despite women’s advances toward social equality, they continue to be disproportionately underrepresented in leadership positions. According to the Center for American Progress, women “are only 25 percent of executive and senior level officials and managers, hold only 19 percent of board seats, and are only 4.6 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs.” And though they constitute the majority of the financial-services and health-care labor forces, not a single woman in these fields helms her organization.
Apart from unequal representation in executive leadership, salary inequity also has been central to the gender-gap debate. Few experts dispute the existence of an earnings gap between women and men, but accurately measuring the disparity remains a challenge. The fact remains, however, that about two-thirds of minimum-wage workers across the country are female, according to the National Women’s Law Center. Unfortunately, women still have too few voices in government to help them achieve full social and economic equality in the near future.
In light of Women’s Equality Day on Aug. 26, WalletHub’s analysts identified the most gender-egalitarian states by comparing them across 15 key metrics. Our data set ranges from the gap between female and male executives to the disparity between women’s and men’s unemployment rates. Scroll down for our findings, expert commentary and a full description of our methodology.