Whatever economic leaps Utah’s economy has made during the past few years, it apparently lags when it comes to gender equality.
As in, lags the rest of the nation.
The Beehive State finished dead last overall in a recent analysis by WalletHub, which compared all states across 15 indicators of gender equality. In the three major categories, Utah was 43rd-ranked among states for workplace environment, 50th in education and health, and 40th in political empowerment.
The workplace environment figure included statistics related to disparity of income, higher income, the share of executive positions, the number of minimum-wage workers, unemployment rate, entrepreneurship rate and average number of work hours. The education and health figure looked at disparity in educational attainment, advanced educational attainment, math test scores and doctor-visit affordability. The political empowerment figure considered disparity in the share of lawmakers in the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, the state legislature and state-elected executives.
Utah was also near the bottom in several breakout rankings: 48th for both the largest income gap and 46th for largest executive positions gap, with women being the “disadvantaged” gender. Men were the disadvantaged gender in another breakout, the largest work-hours gap, where Utah was 48th.
Hawaii topped the overall rankings, followed by Nevada, Illinois, Minnesota and Washington.
“Women’s rights in the U.S. have made leaps and bounds since the passage of the 19th Amendment,” WalletHub said. “Yet many women still struggle to crack the proverbial glass ceiling because of their unequal treatment in society. Unfortunately, the gender gap in 21st century America has only expanded.”
The U.S. in 2016 was 45th among nations, down from 28th, in the World Economic Forum’s ranking of 144 nations based on gender equality.
“The workplace provides perhaps the most potent evidence of the issue. Despite their advances toward social equality, women continue to be disproportionately underrepresented in leadership positions. According to the Center for American Progress, women make up the majority of the population and 49 percent of the college-educated labor force. Yet they constitute only 25 percent of executive- and senior-level officials and managers, hold only 20 percent of board seats, and are only 6 percent of CEOs. The gaps are even worse for women of color,” WalletHub said.
The National Women’s Law Center says that nearly two-thirds of minimum-wage workers in the U.S. are female.
“Unfortunately, women still have too few voices in government to help them achieve full social and economic equality in the near future,” WalletHub said.