It's not news that women are underrepresented and paid less than their male peers in the tech sphere. But when it comes to gender equality in tech, all cities are not created equal.
The third Best Cities for Women in Tech in 2017 by SmartAsset took a look at the 59 largest cities across the US to see how different locations stack up when it comes to representation and pay for women in tech. The research examined the gender pay gap, the percentage of women in tech jobs, their income after housing expenses, and four-year growth in the total number of computer and math-related jobs for men and women from 2012-2015.
The major takeaways? Women are still grossly underrepresented in computer and math jobs, filling an average of 26% of US jobs in those domains. And women earn only 84.8% of what their average male counterparts earn—a decrease from 86.7% in 2015.
The pay disparity does not hold in every single city—there are a few exceptions. Still, in 56 out of 59 cities, males earned more.
Here are the top 10 cities for women in tech:
1. Washington, DC
The nation's capital boasts No. 1 city for the third year in a row. Women in DC earn 94.8% of what their male peers make, and the tech workforce is composed of 41% women—almost double the national average of 26.2%.
2. Kansas City, MO
For the third year, Kansas City is the second-best city for women in tech. It's one of three cities where women actually earn slightly more than their male peers: In 2015, median pay for women was $69,770, compared to men in computer and science jobs who earned $67,461. But the percentage of women has been slightly decreasing—in 2014, they were 34% of the workforce, and now they are 30%.
3. Baltimore, MD
Baltimore has moved up from fourth place to third-best city for women in tech. The tech workforce, overall, has been adding jobs in the field, and 4.2 more women are landing those jobs.
4. Indianapolis, IN
Indianapolis is one of several major cities without a gender pay gap. Median pay for women in computer and mathematical roles is around $61,497. That's about $1,300 more than the median pay for men with the same jobs. After paying housing costs like property taxes and homeowners insurance, women end up with about $51,393 that can go toward other living expenses and savings.
5. New Orleans, LA
Women and men in New Orleans take home roughly around the same pay in tech jobs—there's only a .2% difference. And tech jobs in are New Orleans are seeing a major boom: The city saw 32% new jobs between 2012-2015, which is the biggest change for any city in the study.
SEE: 10 tools to help your company improve diversity (TechRepublic)
6. Fremont, CA
In Fremont, home of Tesla, the average salary for women in tech is only 84.1% of what their male counterparts earn, and about 27% of the tech jobs in the city go to women. The income after housing, however, is one of the highest in the nation, at $68,180.
7. New York, NY
In New York City, two-thirds of the tech force is made up of men, who earn about 10% more than women in similar jobs.
8. (tie) Detroit, MI
Women living in the Motor City are making progress when it comes to fair pay in tech, earning almost 5% more than their male peers in similar jobs. The figure, however, was even better for women in 2015, when the female-to-male earnings ratio was 122.8%. The tech workforce is made up of 42% women, also a very high percentage, nationally.
8. (tie) Denver, CO
Denver women in tech earn about 6% less than their male counterparts. But the cost of living translates into a larger chunk of change for women after housing costs—about $56,680—which makes Denver a tie for No. 8 best city.
10. Philadelphia, PA
Philly is No. 10 on the list, but it's No. 8 in terms of how many women hold tech jobs, inching towards one-third of total jobs in the field. And women earn 92% of what men make, which is an increase from 89.5% in last year's study.
These numbers come from a list of the top 15 cities for women in tech, which also includes Albuquerque, NM; St. Paul, MN; Charlotte, NC; Milwaukee, WI; and Houston, TX.
The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers
- A study of 59 of the largest US cities ranked each location by how well represented (and paid) women are in science and computer jobs.
- Washington DC ranked first on the list for the third year in a row, and has nearly twice as many women in tech jobs than the national average.
- Out of 59 cities, only three offer women equal, or above equal, pay for similar work to men: Kansas City, MO, Indianapolis, IN, and Detroit, MI.
- Closing the tech gender gap: How women can negotiate a higher salary (TechRepublic)
- Does your company need a chief diversity officer? (TechRepublic)
- Designing the future: Silicon Valley struggles with diversity and inclusivity (ZDNet)
- Can these tech tools fight gender bias and increase workplace diversity? (TechRepublic)
- Women in tech: Mind the gender gap (ZDNet)
- How Northeastern plans to reach equal male-female computer science enrollment by 2021 (TechRepublic)
Hope Reese has nothing to disclose. She doesn't hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Hope Reese is a journalist in Louisville, KY. Her writing has been featured in The Atlantic, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, Playboy, Undark Magazine, VICE, Vox, and other publications.