Washington, D.C. got the top ranking for the second consecutive year among the 10 best U.S. metros for working women, according to an annual study released on March 13 by LendingTree’s personal finance site MagnifyMoney.
D.C. earned the top spot again this year with an overall score of 74. At 43.9 percent, D.C. recorded the highest rate of working women occupying managerial positions.
Among the 50 cities ranked in the study, D.C. has the strongest parental and pregnancy leave practices following Boston. D.C. was also ranked high for affordable childcare based on incomes, as it costs an average of 19.9 percent of the median earnings of women in D.C.
The District also has a low unemployment rate at 5.3 percent among women of working age. Businesses owned by women in D.C. comprise 31.7 percent.
The study found a low gender pay gap in D.C. compared to other cities. Working women in the District earned an average of 84 percent of their male counterparts. It was also revealed that in D.C., 69.4 percent of working women have higher access to employer-based health insurance. As for political representation, 30.8 percent of the elected officials are female in the District.
Eight factors related to the ability of women to achieve financial and professional success were measured to determine the ranking of the best and worst cities for working women. The factors include employment, health care, business ownership, management positions, the wage gap, child care, representation, workplace protections, including paid leave and pregnancy accommodation protections, and allowable time off to attend school events.
Charlotte turned out to be the worst city for working women. There are no parental protections and childcare costs are very high. Other cities that ranked at the bottom for working women included Detroit, Memphis, Birmingham, Alabama, and Miami. The study also showed that 27 states do not offer any protections to working women who are pregnant or those with children.