In releasing its report Monday on the status of women’s equality in the United States, the personal finance website WalletHub ranked Virginia as the ninth worst state for the women.
The website also had some disheartening news overall for the state of women’s equality in this country.
While women’s rights in the U.S. have made leaps and bounds since the passage of the 19th Amendment, the website said, many women still struggle to break the glass ceiling because of unequal treatment in society. Unfortunately, the gender gap in 21st-century America has only expanded. In 2021, the U.S. failed to place in the top 10 — or even the top 25 — of the World Economic Forum’s ranking of 156 countries based on gender equality. The U.S. ranked 30th, which is better than last year’s rank of 53rd.
The workplace provides even more evidence of inequality, according to WalletHub. Despite their advances toward social equality, women are disproportionately underrepresented in leadership positions. Women make up more than 50 percent of the population, but constitute only around 27% of legislators and 25 percent of Fortune 500 board seats.
Women also faced inequality during the COVID-19 pandemic. Women were initially laid off at a greater rate than men and re-employed more slowly. The gap has begun to close as more than half of job gains in May went to women, and the June unemployment rate for women was 5.5%, compared to 5.9% for men.
To determine where women receive the most equal treatment, WalletHub compared the 50 states across 17 key indicators of gender equality and three key dimensions. 1) Workplace Environment, 2) Education & Health, and 3) Political Empowerment.
The metrics used in the workplace environment metric 1) income disparity 2) higher-9income disparity 3) disparity in the share of executive positions 4) disparity in the share of minimum wage workers 5) the unemployment-rate disparity 6) the entrepreneurship-rate disparity 7) the disparity in the average number of work hours 8) the job security disparity 9) the economic security disparity, and 10) the disparity in the poverty rate.
Metrics used to determine the overall state rankings in the education and health dimension were 1) the Disparity in advanced educational attainment 2) the disparity in math test scores, and 3) the disparity in doctor-visit affordability.
Metrics used to determine the overall state rankings in the political empowerment dimension were 1) the disparity in the share of the lawmakers in the U.S. Senate 2) the disparity in the share of lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives, 3) the disparity in the share of the lawmakers in the state legislature, and 4) the disparity in the share of state-elected executives.
The states WalletHub ranked as the best for women’s rights were 1) Nevada 2) Hawaii 3) Vermont 4) Maine 5) New York 6) California 7) Iowa 8) West Virginia 9) Michigan and 10) Massachusetts.
The ten states WalletHub’s survey determined to be the worst in the country for women’s rights were 41) Louisiana 42) Virginia 43) Oklahoma 44) Alabama 45) Georgia 46) Kansas 47) South Carolina 48) Texas 49) Idaho and 50) Utah.