Report ranks DC as 4th most STEM-diverse city, but we're not sure why - DC


Report ranks DC as 4th most STEM-diverse city, but we’re not sure why

Gender diversity is strong here, but the racial diversity of the D.C.-area STEM workforce is seriously lacking.

The Technoir 2.0 pitch contest, held in December, helped promote entrepreneurs of color in the District.

(Photo by Lalita Clozel)

D.C.’s STEM workforce ranks fourth in the country for its diversity, according to a survey by personal finance website SmartAsset. Yet, it’s far from racially diverse.

The high ranking is mainly due to the share of women in the local technology and science workforce. (The diversity score is based on an average of gender and racial diversity indicators.)

In the District women have taken 42 percent of these jobs. That’s the biggest proportion compared to all 10 most STEM-diverse cities, according to SmartAsset’s analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

Read the report

When it comes to racial diversity, though, D.C. is lagging far behind cities like Memphis, Stockton, Calif., or Baltimore. White men and women hold 65 percent of STEM jobs here, a higher proportion than San Francisco, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York and New Orleans, per SmartAsset. (Side note: Silver Spring’s STEM workforce is 79 percent white.)

African-Americans have 27 percent of D.C.’s STEM positions; but according to the Census Bureau’s 2013 numbers, they compose nearly half of the District’s population.

Typically well represented in these industries, Asians constitute only 6 percent of the city’s science and technology jobs. Hispanics or Latinos, who represent about 10 percent of District residents, also hold 6 percent of these positions.

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