Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Arlington and DC top this ranking of best cities for women in tech

The DMV is still well represented in SmartAsset's annual report: The District holds steady at the #2 spot while Arlington moved up to #1 and Baltimore fell to #3.

Arlington, Virginia in the spring.

(Photo by Flickr user Ron Cogswell, used under a Creative Commons license)

Arlington, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., took the top spots in SmartAsset’s annual Best Cities for Women in Tech report.

Each year, the personal finance company conducts a study drawing from Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics data that looks at factors including the number of tech jobs filled by women, housing compared to income, the gender pay gap, and tech employment growth. Last year, D.C. fell to #2 after holding the top spot in past years. The District held its #2 spot for 2021, while Arlington rose to #1 in this year’s report after coming in at #3 last year.

Here are the D.C.-specific stats from the 2021 report:

  • Tech jobs filled by women — 38.9%
  • Income after housing costs — $61,083
  • Gender pay gap — 90%
  • Three-year tech employment growth — 23%

With nearly 40% of its tech workforce being women, D.C. has the second largest women-in-tech workforce, SmartAsset found. The nation’s capital also has the 12th highest income for women technologists compared to the other cities surveyed. Women technologists working in Arlington face the 12th lowest pay gap, while earning the eighth largest income after housing hosts, at $64,620 per year. Arlington has the sixth largest women-in-tech workforce on the list.

Here are the Arlington-specific stats from the 2021 report:

  • Tech jobs filled by women — 33.5%
  • Income after housing costs — $64,620
  • Gender pay gap — 91%
  • Three-year tech employment growth — 27%

Baltimore fell to #3 on the list after holding the top spot in last year’s edition. This is mainly because tech employment for women has only grown 15% in the past three years. The gender pay gap is at 99% for Baltimore, which is the second smallest gap, with women technologists earning $63,203 a year.


Long Beach, tied for #10 in the rankings, was the only city in the study that shows women technologists make more than men. The city reversed the gender pay gap, and women technologists there make $1.01 for every dollar that men make. However, women technologists living in Long Beach make a bit less per year than other top cities, with an annual income of $55,640.

Here are the top 15 best cities for women in tech in 2021, per SmartAsset:

  1. Arlington, Virginia
  2. Washington, D.C.
  3. Baltimore, Maryland
  4. Durham, North Carolina
  5. Chesapeake, Virginia
  6. Aurora, Colorado
  7. Houston, Texas
  8. Cincinnati, Ohio
  9. Albuquerque, New Mexico
  10. Jacksonville Florida (tie)
  11. Long Beach, California (tie)
  12. Sacramento, California
  13. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  14. Chandler, Arizona
  15. Atlanta, Georgia
Subscribe to our Newsletters
Technically Media
Connect with companies from the Technical.ly community
New call-to-action