The State of Women in Florida Despite the advancements made by women over the past few decades, it is still difficult for women to get ahead and not just get by. There remain challenges on economic security, leadership, and health issues that make it harder for women to have a fair shot at success. While an increasing number of women are either the sole breadwinner for their family or share the role with their partners, women are still paid only 77 cents for every dollar a man makes.1 And while 2012 was a watershed year for women in terms of getting elected to public office, women comprise only 18.1 percent of Congress despite making up more than half of the U.S. population.2 And on the health front, 2012 saw continued efforts by conservatives to erode women’s ability to make their own decisions about their reproductive health and well-being. A deeper examination shows that women in some states face higher barriers to success than others. Florida is no better than the middle of the pack. Across 36 factors of economic security, leadership, and health, Florida ranks 26th in the nation for how women are faring. This illustrates the long path ahead before women in Florida can get a fair shot at achieving economic security, reaching success, and living a healthy life.
Economic security Florida received an “A-” on the economic factors examined in the report. Overall, Florida ranks ninth in the nation based on the economic factors analyzed. • Women in Florida make 84 cents for every dollar a man makes. This means Florida has the fourth-smallest wage gap in the nation. The statistics are worse for women of color: Hispanic women in Florida make only 60 cents for every dollar a white male makes. • More than 18 percent of women live in poverty. This places Florida 16th worst in the nation on poverty rates for women. The statistics are even worse for women of color: 30.3 percent of African American women in Florida live in poverty. • Florida does not have a policy providing for paid family, medical, or temporary disability leave. This leaves women—and men—without the security of knowing their job will be there if they need to take time off to care for family or medical issues.
1 Center for American Progress Action Fund | The State of Women in Florida
C National ranking
Leadership Florida received a “B-” on the leadership factors examined in the report. Overall, Florida ranks 19th in the nation based on the leadership factors analyzed. • Only 20 percent of Florida’s state elected executive offices are held by women. Florida ranks 23rd in the nation on female elected officials in state elected executive office. • More than 61 percent of the managerial jobs in Florida are held by men. Women hold only 38.7 percent of the managerial jobs in Florida, despite making up 52 percent of the state’s population.
Health Florida received an “F” on the health factors examined in the report. Overall, Florida ranks 46th in the nation based on the health factors analyzed. • 23 percent of women in Florida are uninsured. Despite the number of uninsured women in Florida, Florida refuses to expand Medicaid. Expanding Medicaid could provide insurance for 613,000 women. • Floridians have difficulty accessing health care: There is one OB-GYN for every 11,824 women in the state. • Florida places unconstitutional restrictions/conditions on a woman’s access to reproductive health care. Florida forces women seeking an abortion to undergo a medically unnecessary ultrasound. This law is aimed at intimidating women who are seeking abortions and also opens the doors for some clinics to force women to undergo an even more invasive transvaginal ultrasound. • Florida ranks 38th in the nation on maternal mortality rate, with 14.8 deaths for every 100,000 live births.
Endnotes 1 National Women’s Law Center, “The Wage Gap By State for Women Overall,” April 2, 2013, available at http://www.nwlc. org/resource/wage-gap-state-women-overall.
2 Jane Farrell, “Infographic: Where Are U.S. Women in 2013?”, Center for American Progress, March 8, 2013, available at http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/labor/ news/2013/03/08/55678/infographic-where-are-u-s-women-in-2013/.
2 Center for American Progress Action Fund | The State of Women in Florida