Good news: the gender wage gap for women in tech is closing—but it’s not in Silicon Valley. A new study from financial technology company SmartAsset ranks the best cities in the US for women in tech, and found that, across the country, things are looking up for women in the industry.
In order to look at the tech industry, SmartAsset analyzed US Census Bureau data for men and women working in “computer and mathematical occupations,” and found that women working in tech in three US cities—Kansas City, Indianapolis, and Detroit—are making as much as or more than their male counterparts. Detroit’s gender pay gap in computer and mathematical occupations is a remarkable 122.8%. By comparison, across the US in 2014, women working in tech earned 87.3% of what men in the field earned, according to US Census Bureau data.
SmartAsset noted that the Census Bureau lumps “computer” and “mathematical” job categories together, and because women tend to enjoy greater gender equality in mathematical jobs, the company’s measure of how well women are doing in tech may be slightly skewed.
For nearly 60 cities with significant tech workforces, SmartAssets also calculated women as a percentage of the tech workforce, median income for women in tech after housing costs, and three year tech employment growth.
In Washington, DC and Detroit, SmartAssets found that women hold 40% or more of the jobs, and in other cities like Baltimore, New Orleans, and Philadelphia, women hold between 20% and 40% of the tech jobs. Considering how few women some Silicon Valley giants hire to technical roles, those are staggering figures: when Facebook published its diversity stats last summer, women held only 16% of technical positions. For Twitter, it was 13%.
SmartAssets’ study suggests that when more women work in tech, the smaller the gender pay gap gets. “There is a significant positive correlation (49%) between tech industry representation for women and pay equity in the 58 cities SmartAsset analyzed,” the company wrote in its study. Which is to say, come on Silicon Valley—if Detroit can do it, you can too.