New Orleans is #1 in USA for Tech Growth, #5 for Women in Tech

The fight for equal rights for working women remains an uphill battle. That’s one reason why about 3 million people around the world recently participated in women’s marches and thousands took part in demonstrations on International Women’s Day. An analysis from the Center of American Progress estimated that A Day Without a Woman could have cost the U.S. GDP $21 billion if every woman who worked outside the house went on strike.

While it’s well-known that women make key contributions to the economy, gender disparities remain, particularly in the tech industry. A recent report from the National Center for Women & Technology explained that women made up 57% of the professional workforce but only 25% of the employees in computer-related occupations in 2015. When considering the number of female tech workers in leadership roles, the numbers look just as bad. According to Silicon Valley Bank’s 2017 Startup Outlook Report, roughly 70% of startups say they have no women on their boards of directors and 54% report having zero women in executive roles.

Gender pay inequality remains in the tech industry as well at every level. Data from Payscale reveals that the uncontrolled gender pay gap for individual contributors and managers/supervisors is 19% and 22%, respectively. But that’s not the case in every U.S. city. In order to identify the places with the smallest gaps in gender pay and the highest ratio of female tech workers, SmartAsset ranked the best cities for women in tech.

Study Specifics

To find the best cities for women in tech, we pulled data on men and women in computer and mathematical occupations. We looked at 59 of the largest U.S. cities in which there are enough tech workers to provide statistically reliable data from the Census Bureau. Then we ranked them across four metrics: the gender pay gap in tech, income after housing costs, women as a percentage of the tech workforce and four-year tech employment growth. Read our data and methodology section below for more information about how we completed our analysis.

Key Findings

•Women are still the minority – Nationwide, the percentage of computer and mathematical jobs filled by women remains around 26%.
•D.C. takes the top spot on our list – The nation’s capital ranks as the best city for women in tech. It also ranked first in the 2015 and 2016 edition of our analysis. It has one of the smallest gaps in gender pay and has a higher proportion of women in computer and math-related roles than most cities across the country.
•The gender pay gap isn’t getting smaller – Based on our analysis, we found that the average female-to-male earnings ratio is 84.8%. Last year it was 86.7%. While female tech workers earn more than their male counterparts in a few cities, more needs to be done to ensure that women are receiving equal pay for equal work.

5. New Orleans, Louisiana

Compared to other big cities across the country, New Orleans appears to be one of the ones with a better environment for female tech workers. Women and men in mathematical and computer occupations earn about the same amount of money. And women fill about 35% of those positions.

The number of tech jobs (math and computer-related positions) in New Orleans grew by about 32% between 2012 and 2015. That’s the largest four-year change in tech employment growth in our study. Based on our analysis, the only other city with an equally large increase in tech jobs is Mesa, Arizona.

To read the full study click here.