“Women tend to do well where the industries that dominate that state are white-collar industries, whether it’s insurance, or healthcare or education or government,” said Heidi Hartmann, president of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research in Washington. Maryland benefits from being geographically close to “not only this federal government here, but three state government capitals very nearby.”

“In general, educated women are attracted to big cities, and particularly where there is a strong public sector, because women can advance more equally in the public sector,” Hartmann said.