DC metro ranks best (mostly) for working women

For the fourth year in a row, the D.C. metro ranks No. 1 on MagnifyMoney’s list of Best Places for Working Women.

The annual report ranks metro areas across eight different metrics, and the D.C. metro comes out on top or close to in nearly all of them.

The unemployment rate for working women in the D.C. region is among the lowest in the country, at 4.6%, and a lot of working women here are the boss.

“Our study found that almost half of people in management positions in D.C. are women,” said Ismat Mangla, executive editor at MagnifyMoney. “That is actually the highest of any metro that we reviewed. And 24% of all businesses are wholly women-owned, also among the highest.”

Of the top 10 metros on the list, the D.C. area has the second lowest gender pay gap, behind only Las Vegas. Also, 53.8% of legislators in the metro area are women.

The D.C. metro does not score well in all categories, especially for working mothers.

A large percentage of a woman’s earnings in D.C. are going toward day care — 31.6%, according to the rankings.

“Daycare is expensive,” Mangla said. “Access to child care is important for women to succeed, because unfortunately right now, disproportionately child care falls on women, and it is expensive in D.C..”

The future outlook for working women is positive in D.C., with 69.4% of women between 18 and 24 having some college under their belt, far above the national average of 55.3%. The D.C. region has one of the best scores for parental and pregnancy workplace protection.

Denver, San Francisco and Portland, Oregon, follow the D.C. metro on the list of Best Cities for Working Women.

The full report, which ranked the top 50 metros, is posted online.

A separate report, this one a survey of working women from Apartment List, ranks the D.C. metro No. 4 on its list of best cities for working women, based on values that also include housing affordability and economic opportunity.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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