Diversity & Inclusion

Down one spot in 2020, Philadelphia is now the 3rd most diverse US city for STEM

The city again ranked in the top five on SmartAsset's annual survey of most diverse in terms of STEM workers across the U.S.

At work. (Photo by cottonbro from Pexels)

In a year where police brutality, a pandemic and an intense presidential election have encouraged technologists from underrepresented backgrounds to find more ways to support one another in the workplace, diversity continues to be an essential conversation in STEM.

For the second year in a row, Philadelphia ranked among the five best cities for STEM diversity, according to analysis of Census Bureau’s American Community Survey data by SmartAsset.

The personal finance company evaluated information from the 35 cities across the country with the most STEM workers. A gender diversity index also measured the number of women in STEM jobs by percentage in those cities. Philadelphia comes in third — down from second in 2019 — following Oakland and Boston.

In all 35 cities researched for the study, men still make up the majority of the STEM workforce, at least 62% across the board. White men make up less than 50% of the STEM workforce in just 10 of the 35 cities.

Philadelphia has 38,000 total STEM workers. Some more quick facts:

  • Two-thirds are men and one-third are women.
  • 57% or approximately 21,800 workers are white.
  • 15% or approximately 5,700 workers are Black.
  • 17% or approximately 6,400 workers are Asian.
  • 9% or approximately 3,400 workers are and Hispanic or Latinx.

These numbers are fairly stagnant from last year’s report, except for a 2% bump for Hispanic or Latinx workers. The percentage of women in STEM decreased slightly, from 37% in 2019.

Philly is the third most diverse city for STEM workers, according to new SmartAsset research. (Courtesy image)

Technical.ly has consistently covered the importance of racial equity in the Philadelphia tech community, and whether enough is being done to support it. At the release of last year’s report, we asked whether some local technologists and advocates thought the ranking was cause for celebration, and what could be done to make these stats more reflective of this majority-minority city. Check out their responses.

What do you think about this year’s ranking? Tell us @TechnicallyPHL or philly@technical.ly.

Michael Butler is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism.
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