These Are The 10 Worst Places In Massachusetts For Working Women

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Rankings - 3 years ago
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Even in this day and age women still suffer some forms of discrimination in the workplace.

Whether it me be micro aggression on a day to day basis or more blatent issues with pay and opportunity, America is still coping with gender inequalities.

And Massachusetts is no exception. Granted, some places are doing better than others for women’s career opportunities, but the ones on this list are still stuck in the past. If you have the opportunity to choose where to live, Zippia just did the research to identify the places that don’t offer job opportunities for women relative to other places in the Bay State.

Here’s the set of of the top ten worst places for working women in Massachusetts:

  1. Lawrence
  2. Southbridge
  3. Chelsea
  4. Revere
  5. Fall River
  6. New Bedford
  7. Springfield
  8. Palmer Town
  9. Leominster
  10. Brockton

Read on to see how we came up with this list and a closer look at the top ten places.

How We Determined The Worst Spots In Massachusetts For Working Women

There are two aspects that we wanted to look at when it came to job opportunities for women:

  1. The general economic climate of a place
  2. The economic climate for women in a place

It goes without saying that a bad job market overall will impact women just as much as men. But then there are added issues with what job openings are available for women and how much they pay.

To that end, we dove into the 2013 American Community Survey to see what data was available. After considering the options, we landed on this set of criteria:

  • Pay Gap for full time workers (Median Female Earnings / Median Male Earnings)
  • Participation Gap for working age population (Female Participation Rate – Male Participation Rate)
  • Cost of living expressed as median rent as a percent of female earnings
  • Overall unemployment rate

We ranked each of the 53 places in Massachusetts with over 5,000 working adults from 1 to 53 in each category, with a lower ranking being worse.

We then averaged across the rankings to create a quality of women’s work opportunity index. We then deemed the place scoring the lowest, Lawrence, the “Worst Place For Working Women In Massachusetts”.

Read on to see more information about the top ten.

1. Lawrence

Worst Places For Working Women In MA

Source: Wikipedia

Pay Gap: 71.38%
Participation Gap: -13.47%

Lawrence scored poorly across the board to rank as the worst place for working women in all of Massachusetts.

The cost of living ranks as the second highest in The Bay State, the unemployment rate as the sixth worst, and the Participation gap ranks the fourth worst.

The result is the worst place to work for women by a large margin. For reference, the gap between Lawrence and the second place finisher is larger than the gap between second place and tenth place.

Not exactly the best place for job opportunities generally it would seem.

2. Southbridge

Worst Places For Working Women In MA

Source: Wikipedia

Pay Gap: 71.37%
Participation Gap: -15.21%

Maybe the Town of Southbridge should focus more on work opportunities than its official name as it ranks as the second worst place for working women in Massachusetts.

The Town has the worst Participation gap of all the places with only 64.6% of women working compared to 79.8% of men. You can compare that to a city like Boston where the percentage of men and women working is virtually identical.

Add on a generally high unemployment rate and below average pay gap for women who do work and it’s not a super friendly city to work if you’re a woman.

3. Chelsea

Worst Places For Working Women In MA

Source: Wikipedia

Pay Gap: 74.37%
Participation Gap: -11.41%

The third worst place in Massachusetts for working women is Chelsea — a bridge’s ride across the Mystic River from Boston.

What’s the problem with Chelsea? An exorbitant cost of living which ranks as the highest in all of Massachusetts. Additionally, the labor force Participation for women compared to men ranks ranks as the seventh worst in Massachusetts.

So expect a lot of your paycheck to go to rent if you can find a job here.

4. Revere

Worst Places For Working Women In MA

Source: Wikipedia

Pay Gap: 74.14%
Participation Gap: -12.58%

Paul wouldn’t be so happy to hear that Revere ranks as the fourth worst place for working women in Massachusetts.

The city ranks as having the fifh worst Participation gap and the fifth highest cost of living. However, the pay gap is actually above average for Massachusetts, so there’s a bit of a bright spot to be had for Paul’s namesake.

5. Fall River

Worst Places For Working Women In MA

Source: Wikipedia

Pay Gap: 72.58%
Participation Gap: -13.99%

Fall River places as the fifth worst place for working women in Massachusetts on the back of an extremely high unemployment rate.

How high? The worst in all of Massachusetts. That makes the general labor market a bad proposition to begin with, but add on the third worst Participation gap, and it’s an even worse nightmare for women.

Some good news? It’s cheap to live here, so if you do manage to get a job, rent won’t be all that bad.

6. New Bedford

Worst Places For Working Women In MA

Source: Wikipedia

Pay Gap: 73.14%
Participation Gap: -9.99%

New Bedford, a close neighbor of Fall River, ranks as the sixth worst place in Massachusetts for working women.

Much like its neighbor, New Bedford has a weak overall unemployment rate ranking as the fifth worst in Massachusetts and a labor force Participation gap that ranks as the eighth worst.

So in the end, it’s basically a slightly better place for working women then its neighbor to the west.

7. Springfield

Worst Places For Working Women In MA

Source: Wikipedia

Pay Gap: 81.74%
Participation Gap: -11.96%

For being one of the major metro areas of Massachusetts, Springfield ranks poor when it comes tthe conditions of working women.

The failing comes in the form of a Participation gap that ranks as the sixth worst in The Bay State. That’s coupled with the third worst unemployment rate.

However, the pay gap here actually ranks in the top ten for Massachusetts, so there’s slightly less discrimination than in other parts of the state.

8. Palmer

Worst Places For Working Women In MA

Source: Wikipedia

Pay Gap: 61.49%
Participation Gap: -6.39%

The eighth worst place for working women in the Bay State goes to Palmer, a suburb of Springfield.

It took a dramatically different path to the top ten, namely a sky high (low?) pay gap that rank as the fourth worst in Massachusetts. Compare the fact that women only make 61.5% (!) of men’s salaries to somewhere are close as Springfield where women make, a still hard to believe, 81.7% of men’s salaries.

Honestly, if it wasn’t for an extremely low cost of living, Palmer would have appeared much high on this list.

9. Leominster

Worst Places For Working Women In MA

Source: Wikipedia

Pay Gap: 66.28%
Participation Gap: -5.07%

Leominster ranks as the ninth worst place for working women in Massachusetts.

It suffers from the same problems as Palmer, but to a slightly lesser degree. The Pay Gap ranks as the eighth worst in the Bay State and the unemployment rate ranks 15th worst. However, the participation gap is average, which prevents Leominster from placing higher on the list.

10. Brockton

Worst Places For Working Women In MA

Source: Wikipedia

Pay Gap: 79.52%
Participation Gap: -5.28%

And bringing up the rear on this list, which is actually a good thing, is Brockton.

Brockton really only places on this list because of its low unemployment rate — the second lowest in the state. It’s participation gap is average for Massachusetts and the pay gap is actually above average.

The cost of living is also high, so Brockton seems to be an equal opportunity employer when it comes to having a pretty bad job scene.

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