Equal pay for men and women is improving, but it’s not level. While studies show the gender pay gap narrows at various points, tech still has issues with it… unless you’re in Washington, D.C. or Kansas City, Missouri.
Weighing the gender pay gap, housing costs, job growth and how many jobs in tech are filled by women, SmartAsset has compiled its annual list of the best U.S. cities for women in tech. Washington, D.C. tops that list, with women in that city earning 91 percent what men do. It has the highest rate of female-filled tech roles (38.5 percent), and has the third-highest job growth numbers in SmartAsset’s survey (33 percent).
Kansas City, Missouri is a point of curiosity. According to the study, women in tech make two percent more than their male counterparts there. Unfortunately, it’s experienced a relatively low rate of tech-job growth, and only 26.5 percent of local tech jobs are filled by women. The pay gap anomaly in Kansas City could be fueled by lack of management jobs held by women; a separate survey found women in management roles helped close the gender pay gap.
Baltimore, Maryland enjoys a third place on SmartAsset’s list. Women there make 86 percent of what men do, and have impressive placement (31.9 percent of tech jobs are filled by women) and job growth (36 percent). Women in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania make 94 percent what men earn, and have similar placement figures (31.7 percent) as Baltimore; holding it back are higher housing costs and a dimmer job growth metric.
Albuquerque, New Mexico rounds out the top five on SmartAsset’s list. Women here earn 96 percent of their male counterparts, and the local tech industry is 28.2 percent female. Housing costs are lower than many cities on the list, but an eight percent job growth metric hits its overall numbers hard.
Nationally, SmartAsset says women make 84 percent what men do, on average. Some 25.9 percent of tech jobs are filled by women, and the overall growth for tech is 10.9 percent. Average income (after housing costs) is $53,616.
Though Silicon Valley isn’t specifically listed, cities in its area are – and it’s not good. San Jose fares best at number 16; women there make 86 percent what men do. San Francisco’s 82 percent women/men income ratio helps it to take the 23rd spot; Oakland is 32nd.
“Despite being home to some of the most prominent tech cities in the country, California made a poor showing in this study,” says SmartAsset. “Only one city in the Golden State, Fremont, ranked in the top 15. In general, women working in tech in California tend to be underpaid and underrepresented when compared to their male counterparts.”
Of course, this study underscores an important point: we’re still discussing a gender pay gap, which means it still exists. While the old trope that ‘women make 70 cents on the dollar compared to men’ may be less accurate in 2018, any pay gap that can be identified as gender-based is inexcusable. The national gender pay gap, according to SmartAsset, is 15.2 percent, and that’s not something to take lightly.
If you’re curious where your city sits on SmartAsset’s list (or if it does!), take a look at the chart below.