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Winston-Salem in America’s 10 Best Cities for Professional Women

If you’re a professional woman, forget about Manhattan; these 10 cities are the place to be.

It’s March and that means many things—from March Madness to Mardi Gras—but one of the most important events March ushers in in Women’s History Month. This often overlooked but oh-so-important month of reflection dates back to March 8, 1857 when women from New York City factories staged a protest over working conditions.

A lot has (fortunately) changed since then, but even today you just need to turn on the news to know that despite the best efforts, the workforce is still not quite equal. That being said, there are certain cities out there that are better for working women than others.

So, which was the best city for female professionals? That distinction goes to Lubbock, TX. Here are Movoto Real Estate’s 10 best cities for professional women:

1. Lubbock, TX
2. Omaha, NE
3. Corpus Christi, TX
4. Lincoln, NE
5. Wichita, KS
6. Pittsburgh, PA
7. Winston-Salem, NC
8. Tulsa, OK
9. Laredo, TX
10. Boise, ID

So, what makes Texas such a great place for professional women—and where, oh where, are all of the young professional females of Manhattan that we see in movies and television? Well, apparently in our imaginations, since New York City didn’t even make the top 50. To find out which cities did, you can hop down to the end of this post for our rankings. Otherwise, keep reading and we’ll describe the method of our analysis.
How We Did It

Whether we’re looking for the best places to retire within a state or simply looking at which place is the nicest, we rely on certain measurable criteria in order to come up with our top 10 lists. In order to find the best cities for professional women, we narrowed it down to these five:

  • Commute Time
  • Recent Job Growth
  • Unemployment Rank
  • Adjusted Earnings for Women (average earnings, adjusted for the cost of living)
  • Number of Women’s Professional Groups Per Capita

We then looked at U.S. Census data and women’s professional group websites to apply these five criteria to each of the 100 largest cities in the country. From there, we ranked each city across the five categories from 1 to 100; the lower the number, the better. Finally, we averaged the rank across all of our categories, and the city with the lowest score, Lubbock, in this case, was our winner.

Now that you know the method behind our analysis, keep on reading as we take you on a virtual tour of the 10 places that were best for young professional women, starting with our winner, Lubbock, Texas.

These Are America’s 10 Best Cities for Professional Women By Movoto Real Estate

1. Lubbock, TX

Best Cities For Professional Women
Source: Texas Tech MBA For Working Professionals Facebook

Lubbock, TX, may be best known as a college town (the home of Texas Tech), but it’s much more. Sure, it’s one of the most cowboy cities in Texas, but it’s also affordable, has some great live music, and, according to our latest analysis, is one of the best places for professional women.

Why? At 18 minutes, Lubbock had the lowest average commute time of any city in our ranking. Additionally, it had a recent job growth of 3.19 percent and an unemployment rate of just 5.5 percent, meaning that the job market is ripe with opportunity. But what makes it so great for women in particular? Lubbock is the home to a National Association of Professional Women chapter, and once the average woman’s weekly salary ($633) was adjusted for Lubbock’s cost of living (82), Lubbock was one of the top 30 cities on our list in terms of adjusted earnings for women.

2. Omaha, NE

Best Cities For Professional Women
Source: City of Omaha

Omaha is known as Nebraska’s business hub. It’s the home of five Fortune 500 companies, and, in recent years, was even named Kiplinger’s third-best city in the U.S. to live, work, and play.

As it turns out, that’s especially true for women. In our analysis, Omaha had one of the lowest unemployment rates of any city we looked at: 4.2 percent. It also had a commute time of just 20 minutes and a recent job growth of 2.93 percent.

What made it really stand out for women in particular, however, was its score in adjusted earnings for women. On average, women in Omaha made $663 per week last year. Adjusted for the low cost of living of 82 (where 100 is the national average), Omaha women came in as the 13th best paid in the country.

3. Corpus Christi, TX

Best Cities For Professional Women
Source: Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas-Corpus Christi Chapter Facebook

Once again, we’re back in Texas, and spoiler alert: It’s not the last time we’ll be talking about it here either. In the past when we’ve discussed Corpus Christi, it wasn’t exactly in the most favorable of lights (it’s not the best city for food lovers), but today we’re here to redeem this coastal city—at least for working women.

According to our analysis, Corpus Christi saw a recent job growth of 3 percent, beating out 95 other cities in this category. It also left the other places on our list in the dust with an average commute time of 22 minutes. To put that into perspective, take a look at New York City, where the average commute is 44 minutes. Yikes.

4. Lincoln, NE

Best Cities For Professional Women
Source: Flickr user Sarah Korf

Texas and Nebraska are clearly doing something right in the workforce, because these two states are taking up the majority of our list. So, what is it that they’re doing in the capital city that makes it so great for female professionals?

First of all, at 19 minutes, it had one of the shortest commute times in our analysis. Lincoln also aced it when it came to recent job growth (4.34 percent) and unemployment rate (3.2 percent), coming in as No. 1 in both these criteria. Now, we’re not sure that you fully grasp just how insanely low 3.2 percent unemployment is, so to put this into perspective for you, in Stockton, CA and Fresno, CA, it is almost 16 percent.

5. Wichita, KS

Best Cities For Professional Women
Source: Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce

Not only is Wichita an entrepreneurial business hub in the U.S., home to companies like Koch Industries and Spirit Aerosystems, but it’s also one of the best places in the U.S. for female professionals. The average weekly salary for Wichita women was $649. This may not sound all that impressive, especially when you look at a place like Washington D.C., where it was $1,072, but adjusted for the city’s low cost of living of just 82, this means that the women of Wichita are actually paid quite well. (To put that in perspective for you, D.C.’s cost of living is 143).

Wichita also earned points for one of the lowest commute times on our list, just 20 minutes, and extra points for being the location of one of the National Association of Professional Women chapters.

6. Pittsburgh, PA

Best Cities For Professional Women
Source: Flickr user chesapeakeclimate

Recently, we named Pittsburgh as one of the best places in Pennsylvania to retire, one of the 10 best cities for wrestling, a great place for movie lovers, and one of the best places for women.

Adding to that last one, Pittsburgh has now been named one of the best cities for professional women, mostly due to women’s relative income. On average, Pittsburgh women earn $694 per week, and with a cost of living of just 85, this makes the women of Steel City the eighth highest earners in the country. Pittsburgh is also the home to one of the National Association of Professional Women chapters, and scored well for its low unemployment rate of 6.4 percent. No wonder Pittsburgh has a total of 74,247 women in the workforce.

7. Winston-Salem, NC

Best Cities For Professional Women
Source: Professional Women of Winston-Salem Facebook

This North Carolina city of 234,349 residents came in near the top of our list, mostly due to its high recent job growth (1.93 percent) and low average commute time (22 minutes).

Winston-Salem also scored points for its number of women’s groups per capita. While there is only one NAPW chapter there, this city’s population is smaller than others on our list, giving it a higher rank per capita. In other words, if you’re not yet a member of your local National Association of Professional Women chapter, there is still likely plenty of space.

8. Tulsa, Oklahoma

Best Cities For Professional Women
Source: Flickr user rawartistsmedia

Tulsa, the second largest city in Oklahoma, is the cultural and arts center of the state, home to two world-renowned museums; it has been called one of America’s most liveable cities by Forbes and Relocate America, and recently, FDi Magazine named Tulsa the No. 8 city in the U.S. for cities of the future.

And the future certainly looks bright in Tulsa—especially for its 95,564 professional women. Women in Tulsa earned an average of $694 per week last year. With a cost of living of just 85, where the national average is 100, this meant that the women of Tulsa placed 8th in the country, when it came to earnings.

Tulsa also ranked well for its low commute time of just 21 minutes on average, and an unemployment rate of 6.2 percent. Finally, while Tulsa does have one women’s professional group, it didn’t earn as many points as it could have here due to its larger population.

9. Laredo, TX

Best Cities For Professional Women
Source: Doctors Hospital of Laredo Facebook

Laredo may be one of the most overlooked and underrated—if not downright chastised—cities in Texas. Sure, it’s not a great place for food lovers, but as our latest ranking shows, it is one of the best place for female professionals.

With an economy based mostly on international trade with Mexico, most major U.S. transportation companies have a facility in Laredo, which may be a big reason behind both this city’s unemployment rate of 7.2 percent and the recent job growth of 2.43 percent.

Laredo scored well for women in particular, with an average woman’s salary of $633 per week and one of the lowest costs of living on our list: 77, where the national average is 100.

10. Boise, ID

Best Cities For Professional Women
Source: Flickr user rawartistsmedia

We all know that there are plenty of awesome things to do in this Idaho city, but according to this latest analysis, it also looks as though there are plenty of great opportunities for women.

With a relatively small population of just 244,731, Boise came in with the most women’s groups per capita in our top 10, even though it just has one National Association of Women Professional chapter. It also ranked well for a positive recent job growth of 1.53 percent, plus the bonus of a low average commute time of just 20 minutes—perfect for the 55,639 Boise women in the workforce.
Making Women’s History

It may be Women’s History Month, but that certainly doesn’t mean we aren’t still making history—and strides in the workplace. So congratulations to our winner, Lubbock, TX, and to all of the other cities that made our list. Not only are you helping to shape women’s history, but you’ve also put the notion that young professional women only exist in Manhattan (or the movies) to rest. For that, we can’t thank you enough.

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