"We're expected to do our jobs as if we don't have children, and then raise our children as if we don't have jobs."
What to get for the working mom who needs everything this Mother’s Day? Professional opportunities are always welcome. Quality child care, too, would certainly be appreciated. And how about the ideal work-life balance? Depending on where you live, this doesn’t have to be a wish list. A new survey from personal finance site WalletHub.com ranks the best states for working moms.
Here are the top ten states that are “optimom” for working mothers:
District of Columbia
WalletHub evaluated 50 states as well as the District of Columbia based on nine metrics based on their significance to various home front and workplace aspects of a working mother’s life, including access t pediatric services, public school quality, gender pay gap, ratio of female to make executives, parental leave policy and average commute time.
Progress for the “Lean In” set, “is taking shape at different rates across the country,” the report finds. “Not only do parental leave policies and other legal support systems vary by state, but the quality of infrastructure – from cost-effective day care to public schools – are far from uniform as well.”
For example, fifth-ranked New York can boast the best child care system, but also the most expensive, while Alabama, ranked at 35, and Mississippi, ranked 50th, have the best female-to-male executive ratio in the country and the lowest child care costs in relation to the median women’s income, respectively.
"It’s clear that something must be done to increase workplace gender equality and ease the burden on working parents, but there is significant debate about what that ‘something’ should be,” the WalletHub report states.
Experts interviewed by WalletHub for the report are split on whether they think it is easier or harder for working moms to balance a career and family. “Both actually,” said Sara Sutton Fell, FlexJobs.com. “ There are so many more demands on families these days and moms are generally the ones to do it all… The silver lining is that work flexibility is no longer as fringe of an idea as it used to be.”
Katrina Alcorn, WorkingMomsBreak.com, countered, “I think it’s becoming harder. Americans are expected to work longer hours than our parents did, and wages have stagnated. Most families need two incomes. And yet, society and the workplace have not caught up to this change in our lives. We’re expected to do our jobs as if we don’t have children, and then raise our children as if we don’t have jobs.”
Related story: High net worth women more concerned than men about national economic issues.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.