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Study reveals the best + worst states for working moms: Where do you land?

Wallethub, a personal finance website, released a study this week that expertly explains the best and worst states for working mothers.

They used 13 metrics to analyze each state including childcare, work-life balance, opportunity and the gender pay gap, among others. States were then given a score in each category to determine which were the best and which fell short.

Blue states beat out red states—Vermont being number one which was due largely in part to a very favorable childcare ranking.

The lowest ranking state was Alabama with low grades in all categories—but worst overall for work opportunities.

New York ranked highest for best daycare options. But best, in this case, also equals priciest according to Wallethub’s data.

Among the top ten best states were:

1. Vermont

2. Minnesota

3. New Jersey

4. Delaware

5. Connecticut

6. Massachusetts

7. Maine

8. Rhode Island

9. New York

10. Illinois

Ranking at the bottom of the list were:

51. Alabama

50. Louisiana

49. Nevada

48. Arizona

47. Alaska

46. Mississippi

45. Idaho

44. New Mexico

43. West Virginia

42. Wyoming

For a full ranking of states, hover over the state below to get it’s score:

Source: WalletHub

Over 70 percent of mothers with children under the age of 18 are in the workforce and women represent an overall 44 percent of full-time wage and salary workers in the United States. Yet, they are only making 82 percent of what men made in 2016.

In fact, mothers typically make only 73 cents to every dollar a father makes, describing what’s known as the “motherhood penalty.”

These findings fuel the gender inequality debates around the country. Women work before they are mothers. Women need to work even after they become mothers. Women want to work after they become mothers. Women are working after they become mothers. So, what are we going to do?

1. Ask for a raise

Most mothers are underpaid. This obviously isn’t right. Feel empowered enough to demand your worth. Your employer is lucky to have you. Our friends at Fairygodboss share four excellent ways you can prepare to ask for the money you deserve.

Check out the salary negotiation tools on Payscale to help you prepare for a conversation with your boss—including the specific data you’ll want to backup your request for a raise.

2. Lobby for affordable childcare

Get involved with activist groups in your area or online. Speak up at work. Educate yourself on the issue. Check out some of these organizations for more info—The American Association of University Women (AAUW), Moms Rising, and National Partnership for Women and Families.

3. Spread the word

Be an advocate for yourself and other parents. Talk to other moms and dads about what their childcare issues are, what they do to make things work and how you can come together to fix this problem. Use your social media platforms to start meaningful, productive conversations.

4. Create more on-site childcare

Businesses can work toward providing on-site childcare opportunities for employees. Google, Cisco, Patagonia, gDiapers, General Mills all do, to name a few.

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