Ohio ranks in the middle of the pack for women’s equality

August 21, 2018

Ohio ranks in the middle of the pack for women’s equality

CLEVELAND, Ohio — When it comes to women’s equality, Ohio ranks in the middle of the pack, a national ranking shows.

The Buckeye State sits at No. 24 on Wallet Hub’s state-by-state look at women’s equity in the United States.

Basically, Ohio isn’t terrible for women, but the state’s not great either, when you evaluate the state’s female political empowerment, education, health and work environment all together as a whole.

The best places to be a woman, according to Wallet Hub? New York, Minnesota and Maine. The worst? Utah.

The United States overall is ranked 45th compared to 144 nations when it comes to gender equality, according World Economic Forum statistics cited by Wallet Hub.

What can be done to fix the gap in women’s pay?

“Policies that help women increase their educational attainment and work experience, break into traditionally male-dominated occupations, and minimize the disruption to their work due to child care should help close the gender pay gap,” Lisa Jepsen, University of Northern Iowa economics professor, told Wallet Hub.

Wallet Hub used three factors to score women’s equality.

Political empowerment

Ohio ranked 36th nationally for political empowerment, which evaluated the disparity of women’s representation in elected office at the state and federal level. Women make up 22 percent of the Ohio statehouse, according to the Rutgers University Center for Women and Politics. That’s not too far away from national average of female representation in state legislatures, which sits at 25 percent.

There are three women from Ohio in the U.S. House of Representatives, and no female U.S. Senators. The state has one female statewide executive, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor.

Education and Health

Ohio ranked third for educational and health, which examined the disparity of women earning an advanced degree before age 25. It also examined disparities in math scores and the cost of doctor’s office visits.

There’s virtually no gap in educational attainment of advanced degrees in Ohio, according to the 2016 American Community Survey. About 10 percent of Ohio women over 25 had a professional or graduate degree. Nearly the same percent of men — 9.9 percent — earned the same degrees in the state.

There was a one-point gap in average mathematics scores between fourth-grade Ohio girls and boys in 2017, according to the Nation’s Report Card. Boys scored an average of 241 out of 500. Girls scored 240.

Workplace environment

Ohio ranked 27th nationally for workplace environment, which evaluated a number of factors, including the disparity in women’s income, unemployment, job security, poverty rate and entrepreneurial-ship rate. It also examined the disparity of women in executive positions and in minimum wage workers.

Ohio women working full time earned a median of $38,750 annually in 2016 -- 77 percent of what men earn, according to research conducted by the American Association of University Women.