Minnesota was recently recognized as the most women-friendly state in the entire country, and as a woman who lives here, I’m excited.
States with progressive policies are generally better in regard to women’s rights and opportunities, according to an analysis titled “2015’s Best and Worst States for Women” by WalletHub, a personal finance social network. Minnesota definitely sets the precedent for that argument, as our state scored the highest in the analysis’s two main categories: women’s economic and social well-being, and women’s healthcare.
Women in Minnesota also turned out in high numbers in the 2012 election, are among the most-insured in the country, and have one of the highest rates of life expectancy across other states.
The ability for women to succeed here is evident: early last week the first woman ever won the honor of ‘Minnesota City Engineer of the Year,’ last month DFL lawmakers introduced legislation responding to the contraception-access-killing Hobby Lobby decision, major advances in women’s legal professions over the past 65 years were celebrated in Minneapolis in February, and Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges was the only woman from the Midwest to be nominated for the ‘2015 Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award.’
Additionally, Minnesota’s progressive leaders recently passed the Women’s Economic Security Act (WESA) into law, which provides equal opportunities and pay for women. 2015’s list of ‘Wonder Women’ from Twin Cities Business Magazine highlighted six leading ladies whose work as the heads of prominent companies in Minnesota, like Xcel Energy (Judy Poferl) and UCare (Nancy Feldman), inject massive growth into our economy.
In the report, a professor of sociology at Centenary College, Michelle Wolkomir, told Forbes that states with Democratic leadership tend to be more welcoming for women in general:
The most attractive cities and states for women are those that have already diminished some of the most significant consequences of existing gender inequality in our society. Doing so allows for a higher quality of life for women, and their children, and for greater opportunities to participate fully in civic life.
Minnesota is a great place to live, work and thrive for everyone.
But now our state’s improvements are beginning to make it even better for women. Hopefully we can continue in that direction without turning the clock backward on all of the progress we’ve made.