Working women in D.C. set the standard for others around the nation. (iStock/shapecharge)
Working women in D.C. set the standard for others around the nation. (iStock/shapecharge)

When the third annual 2020 Best Places for Working Women survey placed the District at the top of all cities’ list, it came as little surprise.

The survey produced by MagnifyMoney ranked cities based on several factors, including job opportunities, the chance for upward mobility and entrepreneurship, wages, and protections for mothers.

“For example, [D.C.] has a solid percentage of businesses that are owned by women at almost 32 percent; it has a high percentage of women who have employer-based health insurance, and it also has a high percentage of women managers,” Lauren Perez at MagnifyMoney told WTOP earlier this year.

“D.C. just really protects working women and gives them room for upward mobility,” she told the news station.

Almost 44 percent of managers in D.C. are women, the highest in the nation.

And while child care expenses in D.C. are among the highest in the nation, wages for working women reportedly were also high, making child care expenses less of a burden.

MagnifyMoney reported that D.C. has strong policies in place to protect working women, scoring high for both parental leave and pregnancy workplace protection.

The median earnings gender pay gap in D.C. is 17.1 percent, placing it in the middle of the 50 cities ranked in the survey.

“A major factor was the possibility of free and early childhood education. If a family is lucky to secure a spot in the lottery for PreK3/4 education, the District offers amazing choices from language immersion programs in Spanish, Chines, French, Hebrew to name a few, to other types of amazing programs,” Seema Thomas, an adjunct professor of Urban Sustainability at the University of the District of Columbia, told the Washington Informer this week.

“The schools are cognizant of busy working moms and have phenomenal before/after school programs, easing the guilt of moms who might need to work extra hours,” Thomas noted.

Other major attractions of the region are opportunities to be part of history, declared the adjunct professor.

“I have taken our little one to incredible national events by jumping on the Metro — the Women’s March, Black Lives Matter, and other events,” Thomas continued.

“When I do have a day off, we’ve taken advantage of the museums and other cultural attractions with little impact on our wallets. If sought, the DMV area can provide a unique educational setting for our little ones, not to mention the beautiful diversity in the area. The diversity across the DMV region exposes our child to many cultures and ways of living without ever needing to get on a plane.”

As a working woman in the District who also has lived in seven cities across three countries, Jen Ngozi, the founder of NetWerk, said it’s easy to understand why the nation’s capital is tops.

“D.C. culture not only normalizes networking but celebrates it with regular networking events and opportunities for women. In D.C. it’s common to be asked ‘what do you do?’ compared to other cities that I’ve lived in,” Ngozi stated.

“The emphasis on networking creates a climate of continuous improvement, and D.C. women are constantly looking for ways to level up by connecting with women that are also leveling up,” she declared.

“Studies have shown the direct link between our network and net worth, proving that networking is a key part of our elevation to leadership as women and why D.C. women rank the highest amongst women in leadership roles nationally.”

Stacy M. Brown is a senior writer for The Washington Informer and the senior national correspondent for the Black Press of America. Stacy has more than 25 years of journalism experience and has authored...

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