Charlotte’s Women in Tech Face a Gender Pay Gap

Women who work in Charlotte’s tech scene face an income gap with men, according to a new report from personal-finance site SmartAsset.

Based on SmartAsset’s data, women in Charlotte earn 82 percent of what their male counterparts pull down, on average; in addition, women only fill 26 percent of the city’s tech jobs. That places Charlotte fourteenth on the site’s list, below cities such as Kansas City, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New Orleans, and New York City.

Women in Charlotte earned $52,768, on average, “after accounting for housing costs,” according to the note accompanying the rankings. Overall, Charlotte saw tech-job growth of 28 percent between 2013 and 2016, outpacing many cities. (SmartAsset based its conclusions off data from the Census Bureau, including its 5 Year American Community Survey, published in 2016.)

Charlotte has enjoyed a rising profile in recent years as an up-and-coming tech hub. Earlier this year, data from Wallethub placed it thirty-seventh among the best U.S. cities for STEM jobs—which seems like a pretty low ranking, until you see that it beat out New York, Dallas, Las Vegas, and other prominent towns. (In that same ranking, Charlotte placed twenty-first among cities for “professional opportunities.”) Data from the Praxis Strategy Group and EMSI’s Q4 dataset also suggested that STEM jobs in Charlotte had grown 7 percent over the past two years, putting the city on the same level as San Francisco.

Although Charlotte has a reputation as a fintech center, its technology industry has become much more diverse over the past several years. According to the city’s Chamber of Commerce, only 10.7 percent of the 45,000 locals who work in “core technology” roles actually do so for financial firms. Jobs here range from software publishing and data processing to computer-systems design and consulting.

But SmartAsset’s data suggests that, despite Charlotte’s rising profile, the city still has some ground to make up when it comes to the salaries of women in the local tech industry. If the city’s tech industry keeps growing, however, the situation may very well change.