Louisiana ranks last in gender-equality

Louisiana ranks last in gender-equality

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - When it comes to gender-equality in the United States, Louisiana ranks dead last, according to an annual ranking by Bloomberg News.

Bloomberg News says their rankings were based on issues like male-female median pay ratios, women participating in the labor force, poverty, education and health coverage.

"We consistently rank dead last when it comes to gender-equality one report after the next. Wait, I think recently we ranked second to last, so you know, I'm just so sick and tired of these statistics," said Rep. Helena Moreno, D-New Orleans.

That's why Moreno will continue her fight to close the wage gap in Louisiana this legislative session. She says she'll introduce new legislation, that if passed, would lift pay secrecy in the workplace.

"What we're pushing this year is the prohibition of pay secrecy. Pay secrecy is a type of policy within the workplace that says employees can not talk about their wages, and if they do, there can be some type of retaliation including possibly being fired. So we want to prohibit those types of policies in Louisiana, making those effective Jan. 1 of 2018," Moreno said.

We also talked with women in New Orleans to get their reaction to Louisiana's last-place ranking.

"It's a bummer, but to me it just shows, you know, the things that we still need to work on and it's just kind of more motivation for all of us to band together and just kind of work to make things better and equal for everyone," said Mallory Hyde.

"I personally haven't experienced any issues with inequality," said Lesley Nishio. "I thought it was really awesome the turnout for the women's march even and everything, you know, I don't know outside of the city there's probably a lot of other things that can be done, but I felt like the hospital I work at and everything here has been very equal."

Louisiana did a little better in a Bloomberg News gender equality leadership ranking, coming in 41st place. Those scores were based on women on corporate boards, female-owned businesses, women who earned six-figure salaries and those who were state lawmakers.

Moreno says poverty plays a big part in Louisiana's last-place ranking. She says we have more single family households led by women than any other state, and half of those households are in poverty.

To see the entire Bloomberg News gender-equality rankings, just click here.

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