Philadelphia Is the Nation’s 4th Best City for Women in Tech

A new ranking shows that the local gender pay gap in the industry has slightly narrowed.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA downtown city skyline. Sean Pavone | iStock

Fintech company SmartAsset just released its annual women in tech study, which ranks the country’s leading cities for women in the industry. This year, Philadelphia jumped six positions in the ranking to claim the fourth spot out of 58 total.

That’s a significant jump for Philadelphia, which came in 10th for 2017 and 15th in 2016. The study — which looked at the gender pay gap, income after housing costs, number of tech jobs filled by women, and the city’s four-year tech employment growth — shows that Philadelphia’s index score improved with small gains in the gender pay gap category.

Women working in Philly tech can expect to be paid relatively fairly, the study says. The average women in Philly tech earns 94 percent of what the average man does, giving the city the seventh-best score in the gender wage gap metric. This was an improvement from previous years. In 2017, the average woman in Philly tech earned 92 percent of what the average man did and that figure was 89.5 percent in 2016. And Philly is doing way better than the national average, which stands at 84 percent.

But while women are paid similarly to men, women working in tech in Philly are not paid much by tech standards, the study notes. SmartAsset found that Philly women took home just $49,099 after housing costs, putting the city in 27th place on the metric. Last year, that income number was $47,622 and $46,980 in 2016. Across the country, women on average bring home $53,616 after housing costs.

The 2018 ranking also shows that the city actually experienced a decrease in its number of tech jobs filled by women. This year, women fill 31.7 percent of tech jobs in Philly compared to 32.3 percent in 2017, 33 percent in 2016 and 25.9 percent nationwide for 2018.

The city’s at the top of the list this year are Washington, D.C. (no. 1 for the fourth consecutive year), Kansas, MO (no. 2 for the fourth consecutive year) and Baltimore, MD (no. 3 for the second consecutive year). Compared to the top three cities, Philadelphia’s four-year tech employment growth — the percentage of change in the number of women holding tech jobs from 2013 to 2016 — could use some work. Philly’s tech growth figure over those years is 19 percent. Baltimore experienced 36 percent growth and D.C., 33 percent. Kansas City experienced just 16 percent. Rounding out the top five is Albuquerque, NM.

Philly’s jump in rank should be greater cause for local companies, organizations and government to support movements like #MeToo, as it connects to tech, and the push for more STEM education, particularly for young women.

SmartAsset analyzed U.S. Census Bureau data on women and men in “computer and mathematical occupations across the U.S. to determine the best cities for women in tech. You can view the complete study here.

SmartAsset also recently ranked cities according to STEM diversity. Philadelphia came in at no. 1.