The 8 Best US Cities for Professional Women
I don’t understand gender inequality, especially in the workplace. Despite mounting evidence that women can run a company just as efficiently as men, some employers still use what’s going on between our legs to determine how much our labor is worth, which makes as much sense as awarding a higher salary to someone with brown eyes over blue, or someone who prefers smooth peanut butter to chunky. While certain cities still believe women deserve 60 cents to every man’s dollar, others have more progressive views. Whether you’re looking for a high-paying internship, a long-term career or a restaurant to practice your burger-flipping skills in, these cities offer grand opportunities for women, girls and not-girls-but-not-yet-women.
1. Chapel Hill, NC
Why: Lowest disparity between women’s and men’s pay
According to reports, the Durham-Chapel Hill area of North Carolina boasts the best pay ratio in the country, with women earning 97.4 percent of what men make in the area. I’m not good with math, but that seems pretty darn close to 100% equality, at least in terms of money. If that’s not reason enough to visit North Carolina, the state also offers visitors the chance to pan for gold, learn about the mysterious “Lost Colony,” and retrace the steps of America’s favorite heroine, Katniss, on the Hollywood East tour.
2. San Francisco, California
Why: Highest paying internships
San Francisco is the dream home for all the girls who were picked on for wanting to build code and program computers in their spare time. Home to some of the highest paying tech internships in the country, including Twitter, San Francisco promises professional experience and oodles of cash for college-aged women (not to mention beautiful beaches when the computer screen threatens to fry your eyeballs). The best part? In San Fran, women earn 84 percent of what men do, making it one of the more “equal” workplaces in the country.
3. Washington, D.C.
Why: Highest minimum wage
So you’ve taken an obligatory selfie in front of the White House and you’ve tried (and failed) to re-enact Nicholas Cage’s National Treasure adventure. What now? Well, how about applying for a minimum-wage job? Sure, it doesn’t sound that enticing, until you consider that Washington D.C. has the highest minimum wage rate in the country at 9.32 an hour. That may not sound like much but when you’re cramming for a midterm and your snack drawer has run dry, that after-school job delivering pizzas may come in handy.
4. San Jose, California
Why: Highest earnings for women in the country
It might not be as glamorous as Los Angeles, but San Jose has plenty of perks for the working lady. Most notably, the median income for women in this part of Cali is 56,000 a year, the highest in the country. Not only that, but the city is known for its low depression rate (the second lowest in the country) and its healthy population. Thirty percent of women work out at least twice a week in San Jose, making it one of the cities where I would never fit in.
5. Las Vegas, Nevada
Why: Low disparity between women’s and men’s pay
Whether you’re looking to spend your life savings in a day, fry an egg on the street, or elope with a stranger, Vegas is the place to be. In 2014, Vegas was voted as one of the best cities for women due to its equal pay rates. Women here typically earn around 36,000 dollars for every 41,000 dollars that a man makes, which means everyone can gamble away their salaries equally!
6. New York, New York
Why: Have a job and a social life
I spent at least 5 minutes trying to produce a more professional reason for including New York, New York on this list but sometimes, the simplest answer is the best one. Though the Big Apple can have a high cost of living, it also allows women to pursue bigger career opportunities without completely sacrificing their social lives. With Central Park right around the corner, what else could you possibly want?
7. Fresno, California
Why: Cheapest manicures in the country
If I had a nickel for every time that I sacrificed a meal to have an expensive manicure, I’d have approximately zero nickels because manicures only make it harder for me to anxiously nibble on my nails. So I was only partially kidding when I put down that reason, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. According to the magazine Vocativ, Fresno is one of the best cities in America for young people, a statistic they figured out by looking at unemployment levels, cost of living, number of coffee shops, and manicure prices, among other things. In addition, women’s pay as a percentage of men’s comes to about 91 percent, which isn’t too shabby for this lesser-known California city.
8) Worcester, Massachusetts
Why?: Good for start-ups
For those who aren’t impressed with the likes of big cities like Vegas and San Fran, Worcester offers women an alternative. Home to a handful of prestigious colleges, Worcester promises inexpensive “college town” prices and plenty of opportunities for start-ups and career advancement. But a friendly piece of advice: learn to pronounce Worcester before you move there or else some unruly Boston folk may call you out one or two or fifty times.
Maybe you pray every night to wake up as Liz Lemon or you religiously re-watch episodes of Sex and the City trying to perfect Carrie Bradshaw’s perfect urban lifestyle. Either way, there is a city out there waiting to embrace your professionalism. Which cities do you think are the best for women and why?
Featured image via Shutterstock.