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Working Women Feel Appeal of Des Moines Iowa

  • Ernest Leong

There is a United States city where there's a 70 percent probability your boss will be a woman - that's the highest percentage of female managers in the U.S.

Like many workingwomen, former New Yorker Anne Grim felt she was spending too much time at work, and away from her children.

"I felt constantly torn, as though I was really losing something that I would never regain," says Ms. Grim.

Until she heard an interesting offer.

"I got a call from a recruiter who was describing this position at Wells Fargo and it sounded fascinating. I said okay that's San Francisco, right? And she said, 'No, it's Des Moines, and I started laughing...," says Anne.

She joined many other working mothers in relocating to Des Moines, where almost three-quarters of the managers are women. Ms. Grim and Nora Everett, an attorney from Washington who also moved to Des Moines, explain this midwestern town's appeal.

"It is a place where you can have everything," says Anne.

"You can run out and see your kids in a play or take them to the doctor's office, or if you get the call from school that they're sick you can get out there and pick 'em up," says Nora Everett.

Working mothers can get almost anywhere in town within ten minutes.

Iowa, like many places in the heartland, has a long tradition of husband and wife working side by side. Its capital, Des Moines, was the first in the U.S. to train women for the Army during World War II.

Companies here provide many incentives to female workers, like fitness classes, and even a place for nursing mothers.

Prof. Dean Wright of Drake University says, "The population in rural America is declining and one of the only ways to stabilize and keep it going is to bring in people from the outside."

And keep them there, by allowing them quality time at work, and with the family.