There’s a town where women in tech are getting equal pay — and it’s not where you’d think.
Kansas City, Missouri, is the only place in the country where women who work in the tech industry outearn their male counterparts.
The Midwestern hub comes in at second overall in a new analysis of the best cities for women in tech by SmartAsset. But it’s the only place where women outearn men — by 2% on average. It’s also one of the cities with highest income after housing costs — $57,386 — thanks to decent pay and lower costs of living. However, women make up just about one in four tech workers in the Kansas City market.
The study ranks the top cities based on gender pay gap, income after housing costs, share of tech jobs filled by women and a four-year tech employment growth rate.
The top city overall is Washington, D.C., which comes in at No. 1 for the fourth year in a row. Women here make up a higher-than-average 39% of the tech workforce.
The Best Cities for Women in Tech
1. Washington, D.C.
2. Kansas City, Missouri
3. Baltimore, Maryland
4. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
5. Albuquerque, New Mexico
6 (tie). St. Paul, Minnesota
6 (tie). Arlington, Virginia
8. New Orleans, Louisiana
9. New York City, New York
10. Indianapolis, Indiana
Surprisingly, the best places for tech aren’t concentrated in major cities on the coasts. And the first California city to rank is Fremont at No. 15, though it does get to claim having one of the highest average incomes after housing ($65,227). However, female representation in the workplace is seriously lacking, with men occupying about 75% of the Fremont market and women on average making just 78 cents to every man’s dollar.
Of the 58 major tech hubs ranked in the study, just three California cities land in the top half, signaling women in Silicon Valley tend to be underpaid and underrepresented.
National Averages for Women in Tech
Pay gap: 85%
Income after housing costs: $53,158
Tech jobs filled by women: 26%
4-year tech employment growth: 10%
Overall, seven cities in the top 10 list are repeats from the previous year’s rankings, showing that while there’s still work to be done in terms of representation and pay, female tech whizzes are making strides in these markets.