May 16, 2018

Florida Ranks 36th on Economic Status of Women Index

This post was last updated on December 8, 2021. As new policies are announced, FPI will update this page.

As Florida’s response to COVID-19 takes front and center, concern grows for low-income families who struggle to take precautions against the spread of the virus. Although Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address, at least in part,  the public health crisis and economic fallout from COVID-19, many barriers continue to keep struggling families from accessing the assistance they need during the pandemic. As Florida initiates policies implementing the Act and addressing other barriers to the safety net, FPI will update this form. When available, hyperlinks are provided to agency documents or statements that provide greater detail  about the new policy.

On March 22, 2020, FPI and 44 other organizations sent a letter to Governor DeSantis, leadership in the Legislature and agency heads to urge action on 47 specific policy changes to reduce unnecessary barriers for Florida’s safety net programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the letter here.

In a recent factsheet compiled by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) — an organization that works to help identify areas of progress for women and pinpoint the areas that need work — Florida was awarded a D+ rating for female employment and earnings. This grade and the rankings that follow are determined by measurements of median annual earnings, percent of women in the workforce, percentage of working women in managerial or professional occupations and the earnings ratio between men and women.

The factsheet ranks Florida 36th in the nation in terms of economic opportunity for women. IWPR found that, in the Sunshine State:

  • The median annual earning for working women is only $35,000, which is about $5,000 less than what their male counterparts earn annually.
  • Women earn about 88 cents per every dollar that a man would earn.
  • While 53.7 percent of women are in the workforce, only 38.8 percent of them work in “Managerial or Professional Occupations.”

Although Florida falls short in terms of female economic opportunity, the state’s gender-based wage gap does show promise in comparison to other states. At the current level of wage disparity, it is not expected that women will receive equal pay until 2038. However, in the race to eliminate the gender-based wage gap, Florida is 3rd in the nation.

Heidi Hartmann, president of IWPR, noted: “If states really want to see their economies flourish, they will invest in improving the economic status of women, especially women of color, who tend to fare worse in all states.”[1]


[1]Institute for Women’s Policy Research. New State Grades on the Economic Status of Women Show Stagnant or Declining Progress in Most States. March 28, 2018.

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