Wallethub.com recently released studies ranking the best and worst states for both working moms and working dads. Pennsylvania's rankings were nothing to brag about, with PA coming in overall as the 38th best state for working moms and 32nd for working dads. While there are still a handful of states falling below Pennsylvania’s rank, it is evident that the PA has some work to do when it comes to opportunities and support for working parents.
Behind the Rankings
For working mothers, Wallethub.com’s ranking was based on the comparison of three components: child-care, professional opportunities and work-life balance. To further break down these categories, "child-care" rankings were based on costs of child-care, school system ranks and the level of pediatric service availability. "Professional opportunities" was a more working-woman-specific category, focusing on topics including the gender pay gap, the “ratio of female executives to male executives” and the “gender-representation gap in different economic sectors.” "Work-life balance" ranks included average hours worked per week, average commute time and parental leave policies. For working moms, the rankings were fairly consistent (between 33rd and 36th) for each category.
The state rankings for working dads were determined similarly, though with four categories for comparison: economic and social well-being, work-life balance, child-care and health. The category of "economic and social well-being" focused on median incomes, unemployment rates, the percentage of families living in poverty and graduation rates. The health category focused on rates of insured working dads, mental health rankings, cancer rates and reported exercise. "Child-care" and "work-life balance" were evaluated in the same way as they were for working moms. While Pennsylvania was fairly consistent in rankings (placing in the mid-30s) for most categories, in the Economic and Social Well-being category, the state ranked 14th for working dads.
How can PA improve?
PA's mostly mediocre rankings bring into question: what changes can Pennsylvania make to improve the lives of working moms and dads? As reported by the Philly Voice, following major U.S. companies' improvement of their parental leave policies, some Philadelphia companies and universities, as well as the City Government, have worked to do the same in recent months. However, there is clearly more that can be done. Implementing policy to decrease the gender-wage gap and mandating paid parental leave are just a few of the changes that could raise PA in the working-parent ranks.
At Mama Said, we support working parents, and believe workplaces should do the same. Check out our Services page to learn how Mama Said can help your business create a better environment for your parent employees!