Study: Best Places For Women in Tech are Outside Silicon Valley

A new report suggests that the best opportunities for women in technology may be located outside of the industry’s hotbed in Silicon Valley.

The analysis last week by SmartAsset, a New York-based financial technology and data analytics company, indicates that the best cities for women in computer-related jobs are found primarily on the East Coast and in the South and the Midwest. The report comes as Silicon Valley and the tech industry in general face scrutiny over a culture perceived as being unwelcoming to women.

Using U.S. Census Bureau data, SmartAsset ranked the top cities based on an average score that combined women’s share of local tech jobs, how women’s salaries compare with men’s in tech, income levels after accounting for local housing costs, and the three-year employment growth for women in tech.

The top five cities are Washington, D.C.; Kansas City, MO; Fremont, CA; Houston, TX; and New York.

In Washington, D.C., women hold 37 percent of tech jobs. The number of women in tech jobs there has grown 49 percent over the last three years, and women pull in 93 percent as much money as men. While there’s still room for improvement, that pay gap is smaller in the capital city than the nation as a whole, where women earn 86 percent of what men do, SmartAsset said. Women are paid as much or more than men in only two cities on the list: Kansas City and Arlington, TX.

Meanwhile, Fremont is the only city in the San Francisco Bay Area to crack the top 15 on this list. San Francisco, for example, ranked 23rd, with women making up 21 percent of the tech workforce and making nearly 88 percent as much as men.

Boston and Seattle are among the notable tech hotbeds missing from the top 15. Boston ranked 26th, primarily dragged down by its gender pay gap—women make about 77 percent as much as men there. Seattle was all the way down at 41st, in part because women hold just 20 percent of tech jobs there.

Here’s where Xconomy’s coverage areas fall on the list of top 50 cities:

3. Fremont, CA
4. Houston, TX
5. New York
8. Milwaukee
10. Plano, TX
13. Charlotte, NC
14. Denver
15. Arlington, TX
16. San Jose, CA
18. Oakland, CA
23. San Francisco
24. San Diego
25. Raleigh, NC
26. Boston
28. Colorado Springs, CO
33. Dallas
40. Irving, TX
41. Seattle
43. San Antonio, TX
46. Madison, WI
47. Austin, TX
48. Aurora, CO
49. Fort Worth, TX

Jeff Engel is a senior editor at Xconomy. Email: jengel@xconomy.com Follow @JeffEngelXcon

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