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Baltimore didn’t repeat as #1 city for women in tech, but it’s closing the pay gap

SmartAsset's annual ranking puts Baltimore as the third-best city for women in tech.

Testing the latest tech at Verizon 5G Labs. (Courtesy photo)

SmartAsset’s annual ranking of the best cities for women in tech is out, and Baltimore is once again near the top.

The city ranks third, behind only nearby Arlington, Virginia, and D.C. The rest of the top five includes Chesapeake, Virginia, and Durham, so the makings of a super-region for gender equity are in place.

SmartAsset, a New York-based personal finance company, looks at U.S. Census Bureau data for 63 cities, looking at gender dynamics among those defined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as “computer and mathematical occupations.” It ranks across four categories. Here’s the data for Baltimore:

  • Gender pay gap: 99% (meaning women make 99 cents to every dollar for men)
  • Income after housing costs: $63,203
  • Tech jobs filled by women: 29.9%
  • Three-year tech employment growth (overall): 15%

Comparing across years, the obvious thing that jumps out from 2020 and 2021 is that Baltimore no longer has the top spot. It ceded last year’s #1 ranking to the neighborhoods inside the Beltway, and returned to the spot it held in 2017 and 18 before moving up. The share of women in tech roles is also down slightly from 32.2% a year ago. (Of course, this is still nowhere proportionate to the 50% share that women have of the overall population.)

But there are some notable signs of progress. On the pay gap, which SmartAsset notes is a key issue nationwide, the city picked up six percentage points from a year ago and is just a point from parity. Fittingly, median income also jumped up by about $3,000 from 2020.

The biggest drag on the rankings appears to be the overall growth of local tech employment, which dipped to a three-year rate of 15%, compared with 25% in 2020.

Here’s the full blurb from SmartAsset on Baltimore, which digs a bit more into where the city ranks on each category:

Women in tech in Baltimore, Maryland face the second-smallest pay gap in the study, earning almost on par with their male counterparts — at 99 cents for every dollar that men make. The tech workforce in Baltimore is made up of 29.9% women, the 10th-largest overall, and they have the ninth-highest income — $63,203 after housing is deducted. Note, however, that the tech industry has grown only 15% in the three-year period from 2016 to 2019, placing Baltimore in the bottom half of the study for this metric.


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