Connecticut is making progress attracting women back to the workplace according to a new WalletHub report comparing dynamics across states.

The report ranked Connecticut second behind Massachusetts as the best overall state for working mothers. 

Rhode Island, Minnesota, and Wisconsin filled out the top five, while Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, and Idaho were ranked in the bottom five states. 

The report measured states in regards to child care, professional opportunities, and work life balance. 

Pandemic Impact

Nationwide, women make up nearly half of the U.S. workforce. 

The coronavirus pandemic had a clear impact on women specifically, widening the gender disparities. 

According to a Pew Research study, the share of women in the workforce dropped 1.3% between the third quarter of 2019 and the third quarter of 2021. 

The share of women in the workforce dropped 1.3% between the third quarter of 2019 and the third quarter of 2021.

The report suggests Connecticut needs to improve upon professional opportunities for working mothers. 

The state scored the lowest in that sector of the survey, which accounted for pay gaps, ratio of male to female executives, unemployment rates, and economic status. 

Other New England states scored significantly higher in their professional opportunity ratings. 

The state legislature unanimously approved legislation this session requiring the Department of Economic and Community Development to develop and implement a post-pandemic return to work plan for women.

Childcare Issues

It is increasingly evident childcare improvements need to be made as well. 

In a recent Connecticut Employee Childcare Needs Survey, 76% of employers said childcare negatively impacts up to 20% of their workforce, while 17% report it impacted between 20% and 40%.

Childcare is showing a direct correlation with workforce challenges. 

The business community is shedding more light on these issues.

CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima is leading a private-sector coalition focused on early childhood education in Connecticut.

The coalition is a partnership with the Governor's Workforce Council, the Council on Women and Girls, and the Office of Early Childhood Education.