KSL AT NIGHT

WalletHub report again puts Utah dead last for women’s equality

Aug 23, 2023, 7:30 PM | Updated: 7:39 pm

Thousands march on the state Capitol for women's equality on Monday, Jan. 23, 2017. Photo credit: S...

Thousands march on the state Capitol for women's equality on Monday, Jan. 23, 2017. Photo credit: Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News.

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah is dead last in the nation for women’s equality according to a new report from WalletHub.com. 

Dr. Susan Madsen, professor at Utah State University and founder of the Utah Women and Leadership Project, joined KSL NewsRadio to break down what the WalletHub findings really mean. She also wrote an opinion piece on the report for the Deseret News

 

In the report, WalletHub used three indicators to score each state based on a 100-point system – workplace environment (40 points), education and health (40 points), and political empowerment (20 points). 

“It’s a little discouraging, the data,” Madsen said. “I was hoping we would turn the corner this year. The data is a couple of years old. And so, I’m hoping next year we’re gonna turn.”

Lots of work to do on women’s equality

Madsen said there was almost nowhere to go but up, but that Utah stays at the bottom of this ranking. The state has finished last for the past nine consecutive years, she said. 

“But we sure went down even further,” Madsen said. “We were last, last year, but we have less points this year.”

And there’s another issue hurting the state according to Madsen, one that’s out of Utah’s collective hands. 

“One thing that impacts our rankings is that other states are making more progress,” she said.

Two years ago, the state finished in last place, seven points behind Idaho. Last year, Utah finished 12 points behind Georgia and came in last. Madsen says this year, The Beehive State finished 22 points behind Texas. 

Fixing the gap

Madsen said she has faith in a program just launched by USU called A Bolder Way Forward.

The program suggests that Utahns with a stake in changing workplace environments, education, and health, use systems thinking. This has as its foundation the belief that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. In other words, people from various walks of public life more often need to work with a group goal in mind.

“If we keep going the rate we’re going, even with little progress,” she said. “It’s going to take three to four decades to make notable progress.”

Madsen says research shows that when people work together as a system and with the same goals, we can shift toward a better life for women and girls.

KSL at Night can be heard most weeknights from 7 to 9 p.m.

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WalletHub report again puts Utah dead last for women’s equality