Idaho Gets An F When It Comes To Economic Security And Leadership Roles For Women

By Emilie Ritter Saunders

Women_Map_Center_for_American_Progress
Map via Center for American Progress.

Economic success stories and leadership roles for women in Idaho are few and far between. That's according to a new report by the Center for American Progress. Idaho earned an overall D grade and is ranked 36th among states for female progress. The report measured by things like the gender wage gap, poverty, and leadership roles.

While Idaho’s overall grade is a D, the state is failing when it comes to economic security and leadership roles for women. In both categories, Idaho ranks among the bottom 10 states.

On the economic front, Idaho women earn 75 cents for every dollar a man earns, the poverty rate for women is higher than the national average, and early education opportunities aren’t as available.

On the leadership front, Idaho doesn’t have any women statewide elected officials or congressmen. And women legislators account for just a quarter of Idaho’s state legislature.

Go Lead Idaho is an organization that’s trying to turn those stats around. Cece Gassner, the group’s vice president, says "of course if you don’t see female CEOs in your community, you don’t see female leaders – you don’t then provide the role model for other people to step up and say ‘I can be a leader too’.”

Leadership doesn’t just include political offices, the report also considers women CEOs and managers. Women hold about 34 percent of management jobs in Idaho. Buffy Wicks with the Center for American Progress says the national average is slightly higher at 38 percent.

Wicks: “I believe when women are at the decision making table they’re going to take into account things like paid family medical leave, increasing the minimum wage, and some of these other public policies. We think it’s important to have their voice at the table.”

The brighter spot in the State of Women report is on health outcomes. Idaho earned an average grade and is in the middle of the state ranks.

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