Denver Business Journal: How does Colorado rank for working moms?

by Digital Producer / Social Engagement Manager
Denver Business Journal

They say a mother’s work is never done. And in Colorado, that’s definitely the case, although not for the greatest reason.

Colorado came in at No. 44 in a ranking of the best and worst states for working momsthat WalletHub released Tuesday.

Virginia-based social financial network WalletHub analyzed data based on nine metrics ranging from child care costs and quality, to gender pay gap, to commuting time and more.

  • Click the slideshow (above right) to see where Colorado ranked on each of the nine metrics.

Linda Meric, national executive director of 9to5, a nonprofit that campaigns to put working women’s issues on the public agenda, said the biggest problem is that the United States and Colorado has not kept up with changes in the workplace.

“Women are the primary breadwinners in two-thirds of households,” Meric said. “So policies in workplaces have a huge impact on women, but also on families.”

Those policies include the gender pay gap, where both Boulder and Denver are among the cities where that gap has widened further recently,

Meric said some of that can be attributed to the fact that much of the job growth since the recession is in low-wage service industries where women are over-represented.

Another problem is workplace policies for taking time off and parental leave policy.

“At some point, almost everyone needs time away from work to care for themselves or a sick child, and unfortunately they fear they can’t do with that without losing pay or their jobs,”Meric said.

Lauren Sveen, president of Mom Corps Denver, a staffing company that pairs executives with talent, said she’s even seen some women becoming entrepreneurs to deal with inflexibility in the workplace.

“[That’s] especially true with more senior women who are going out and working on a contract basis as opposed to being stuck under a company’s structure,” Sveen said.

Another huge problem is the high cost of child care in the state, where Colorado ranks 42nd.

“For many families, child care is one of the biggest expenses they have,” Meric said.

“Making child care more accessible and affordable is something that’s really important,”Meric said, adding that 9to5 worked during the legislative session on two bills specifically related to Colorado’s low-income program.

One of those bills, which are headed to Gov. John Hickenlooper‘s desk awaiting signing, provides a child care tax credit for some families.

The other bill will streamline childcare programs to make it more accessible to low-income parents.

The top 10 best states for working moms are:

  1. Oregon
  2. District of Columbia
  3. Vermont
  4. Maine
  5. New York
  6. Delaware
  7. Rhode Island
  8. California
  9. Massachusetts
  10. Ohio

The 10 states that are the worst for working moms are:

  1. Louisiana
  2. Mississippi
  3. Wyoming
  4. Idaho
  5. South Carolina
  6. Nevada
  7. Kansas
  8. Colorado
  9. Missouri
  10. Pennsylvania
  11. Georgia
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