By Veronica Mackey
Still riding high as last week’s feature and commentary subject in the Los Angeles Business Journal (July 7, 2014), Inglewood got another shot in the arm from NerdWallet. The financial literacy website named Inglewood as among the “Best Medium-Sized Cities for Women in the Workforce.”
Ranking 8th out of 20, in its category among U.S. cities, Inglewood was rated on:
Women’s earnings, the median salary for full-time, year-round female workers in each city, and median gross rent as a proxy to gauge cost of living;
Income equality, women’s pay as a percentage of men’s pay to measure the level of income equality in each city; and
Population growth, to assess long-term growth potential.
Other California cities in the category include San Bernardino, Vallejo, and Richmond.
Women in Inglewood who work full time earn, on average, $35,819 annually which equates to 113.96% as a percentage of men’s earnings, according to NerdWallet. The site has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Reuters.
Analysts broke down the list of 522 cities into large, medium-sized and small cities to find various types of places for women in the workforce. For more information on affordability in each of these cities, check out NerdWallet’s Cost of Living Calculator (http://www.nerdwallet.com/cost-of-living-calculator/).
In addition to being heralded as business-friendly, Inglewood is now endorsed as a gender-friendly city. But none of this matters to Diane Sombrano who insists the City of Inglewood is biased against women.
“There are more skirts and suits in this building than on the streets,” she said referring to the lack of women in maintenance jobs. She talked about the abundance of secretaries in City Hall, and that all of them were women.
“That’s sexist,” Mayor James Butts replied. “The inference to their dress should not happen.”
“I intend for it to be sexist,” Sombrano said. “The way we treat women who come to this podium (at council meetings) is an example because you put down women on a regular basis.”
Perceived put-downs aside, Nerd Wallet analysts spent numerous painstaking hours, studying and crunching the numbers prior to releasing the report. Analysts compared median financial data from the Census Bureau American Community Survey from 2009 through 2012. The evolution of opportunities for working women, confirm the data.
The number of women working in the U.S. has been steadily increasing over the past five decades, with the percentage since 1967 increasing from 29% to nearly 50%. In 1960, only 1 in 10 mothers in the U.S. was the sole or primary family breadwinner; in 2011, that number had reached 4 in 10.
As for the accusation of gender bias, Butts dismissed the idea, noting that the City’s hiring of female police officers—the most dangerous job category—is proof that Inglewood does not discriminate. “People take the jobs they want,” he said.
To take a closer look at cites that have the best characteristics to support working women, visit http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/cities/economics/best-cities-women-workforce-2/