WalletHub’s annual report shows where working moms have the best access to childcare and professional opportunities

Women make up almost half of the U.S. workforce, and 73 percent of women with children under 18 were working in 2022. But despite the fact that being a working parent is the reality for the majority of moms in this country, it still isn’t an easy path. Working moms face discrimination, pay inequality, and other battles that should be a thing of the past, but sadly, still aren’t. Only 8.2 percent of S&P 500 companies’ chief executives are women, and women still only earn, on average, 82 percent of what men do (that’s white women, for the record—the gap is much larger for women of color). And even across the United States, the playing field isn’t equal for working moms—that’s where WalletHub’s new study comes in.

Each year, the finance site ranks U.S. states to determine which ones are the best (and worst) for working moms. Its 2023 rankings are in, and the results may surprise you. Ready to pack your bags? These 10 states are considered the best places to be a working mom:

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

On the flip side, these 10 states are considered the worst:

42. Arizona
43. Nevada
44. Oklahoma
45. New Mexico
46. Idaho
47. West Virginia
48. Mississippi
49. Alabama
50. South Carolina
51. Louisiana

To determine its rankings, WalletHub looks at three main factors that greatly impact the quality of life (and work) for working moms: child care, professional opportunities, and work-life balance. Each state is given scores based on things like the cost of daycare, how many pediatricians it has per capita, its gender pay gap, ratio of female-to-male executives, parental leave policies, and more.

“Working parents (not just mothers) need to be not only welcomed into, but really driving the conversations about how to rethink workplace culture, workforce expectations, and work-life negotiation,” said Jennifer L. Borda, a professor of communication at the University of New Hampshire and one of the experts consulted on the study. “There is a diverse population caring for children now, so being attuned to how different workers have different needs and how those needs may shift and evolve over time. For example, LGBTQ+ workers may have different needs than cisgender/heterosexual couples… Work should not be, can no longer be, one size fits all.”

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