As the coronavirus pandemic continues to make it more difficult to balance work and family life, a new study is pointing to stark differences among U.S. states in terms of making life easier for working moms.

The WalletHub study ranked all 50 states and the District of Columbia on 17 metrics covering areas such as child care, gender pay gaps, professional opportunities for women, female unemployment rates and the costs of day care and other services important to women.

The study found that women had it tougher than men when it comes to employment before the coronavirus, with an average hourly wage that is only 85% of the hourly wage for men, and that the global pandemic is only making life tougher for them.

"Women make up nearly half of the U.S. workforce, and nearly 70% of moms with children under age 18 were working in 2019," the report noted. "Unfortunately, those numbers are decreasing in 2020, as data shows that during the coronavirus pandemic, unemployment is rising faster for women than it is for men."

The results found a wide divergence in the way states treat working moms. The study also revealed, however, that some states offered a favorable environment in some areas, but were lacking in others. California, for example, has the nation's lowest gender pay gap, but also ranks 49th in the nation in child-care services.

The following 10 states, in ascending order, were ranked in the study as the best for working moms:

10. Wisconsin

The state ranked 11th in the nation in work-life balance, 14th in child-care services and 17th in professional opportunities.