Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, last year took its toll on many industries, but tech hasn’t suffered like others. In fact, the sector continues to grow and add jobs nationwide. At the same time, it’s still a tough sector for women who want to break in, rise through the ranks, and get paid the same as their male counterparts.
In its seventh annual survey of the best cities for women in tech, SmartAsset, a financial software and data firm, analyzed Census Bureau data for 63 cities and ranked them based on the gender pay gap, income after housing, women as a percentage of tech workers, and three-year growth in tech employment.
One of the key findings isn’t much of a surprise: Opportunities in tech continue to flow away from the locus of Silicon Valley. Of the cities in the top 10, none are located in California (and the two California firms that made it into the top 15 aren’t even in the San Francisco Bay Area). This was already a trend before the pandemic, but COVID-19 spurred remote work, which in turn led many to make the exodus away from pricier parts of the country and into more affordable “Zoom towns.” The new tech hub appears to be centered around the greater Washington, D.C., metro area as three of the top five cities are located in the capital region:
- Arlington, Virginia
- Washington, D.C.
- Baltimore, Maryland
- Durham, North Carolina
- Chesapeake, Virginia
And while the wage gap is vast overall (SmartAsset shows that women on average make 83 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earn), some places are worse than others. For instance, women only make 68 cents for every dollar the men earn in Salt Lake City, the worst city on the list. The only city that actually pays female tech workers more than men is Long Beach, California, where they earn $1.01 for every dollar their male counterparts make.
You can see the full ranking of all 63 cities here.