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Baltimore ranked as the best US city for women in tech

Baltimore overtook D.C. for the top spot on the latest edition of SmartAsset's annual study, looking at metrics such as number of women in tech roles and gender pay gap.

A team at work. (Photo by Pexels user Christina Morillo, used via a Creative Commons license)

Baltimore stands at the top of a ranking of the best cities for women in tech.

Personal finance tech company SmartAsset is out with the sixth edition of the annual study. This year, Baltimore moved up to the top spot for the first time. It traded places year-over-year with D.C., as the capital was in the top spot last year and is now #2.

Using public data from sources like the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the study looks at a total of 59 cities. Along with offering a measure for the tech industry specifically, it’s also designed to get folks to consider how a career path, where a person lives and how those factors affect income all play a role in meeting financial goals, said Smart Asset VP of Financial Education AJ Smith.

Key metrics for Baltimore women in tech include the following:

  • Tech jobs filled by women: 32.6%
  • Gender pay gap: Women make 94% of what men make
  • Over four years, overall tech employment in the metro area grew 26%
  • Income after housing costs: $60,108

Baltimore is in the top spot after a steady rise through the rankings. It moved up eight spots to number four in 2016, then cracked the top three the next year before rising to number two in 2019. Four out of the top five cities are from the region, with Arlington and Chesapeake (aka Norfolk/Virginia Beach/Newport News) taking the #3 and #4 spots. Albuquerque rounds out the top five.

Let’s be clear: Getting ranked #1 for women in tech doesn’t mean the city has solved tech’s gender equity issues. In fact, Baltimore’s percentage of tech jobs filled by women remains lower than D.C., which was 39% of that share. And the gender pay gap of 94% means there is still a gap that exists.

“There’s still room for growth all across the country,” Smith said.

Still, the rankings do show how the city is outpacing national trends. Nationally, the pay gap fell to 83.1% in 2018, meaning it had a 3.8% drop. In Baltimore, however, the pay gap closed by one percentage point, and ranks fifth nationally. Compared with last year, the share of women in tech jobs rose and income after housing also rose.

Baltimore, Smith said, “is above the national average across the board.”


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