Photo Credit: GSCSNJ
By Ali Correll
This Mother’s Day, Colorado mothers have something special to celebrate on top of normal festivities: Colorado has been ranked 17th in the nation as one of the best states for working mothers in 2018. Wallethub has evaluated every state in the union based on child care, professional opportunities, and work life balance, and while the differences between some states are staggering, Colorado isn’t that far off from the national winner, Vermont.
Overall, Colorado scored a 48.59, while Vermont scored a 64.79. The factors leading to the biggest difference in score between the two states? Child care and work life balance. While Vermont was ranked 3rd and 5th respectively in both categories, Colorado left a lot to be desired in terms of child care and work life balance, being ranked 22 and 21.
The factors leading to the mediocre scores? To rank child care, Wallethub looked at each state’s child care costs, day care quality, pediatricians per capita, nationally ranked day cares per capita, school system quality, and number of child care workers per child. Leaders in child care swept all categories with full points in all categories, while Colorado was left hanging in the middle of the rankings at 22. The good news? Colorado is one of the leaders in child care in the West, far surpassing its geographic neighbors.
There is also room for improvement in Colorado’s work life balance for working mothers, as the state again came in dead middle in terms of parental leave policy, average length of a woman’s work week, and a woman’s average commute time. Ranked 21, Colorado has much room for improvement in easing the burden of working mothers.
That being said, Colorado was ranked higher in the nation due to its outstanding professional opportunities for working mothers, coming in 9th behind states such as Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia. It is one of the few states in the top 20 best states for working mothers that was ranked this high.
Contributing factors that led to this were the smaller gender pay gap found in Colorado, as well as the high ratio of female to male executives, the median woman’s salary (which was found to be higher than most others in the nation), the low amount of families in poverty, the lower female unemployment rate, and the gender representation gap in different economic sectors. By creating an environment for a diverse and level playing field for working mothers, Colorado has pulled ahead and set the bar for the rest of the nation.