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DC drops to #2 in this annual ranking of best cities for women in tech

This is the first time the District hasn't ranked #1 in five years in SmartAsset's Best Cities for Women in Tech report.

At work. (Photo by CoWomen from Pexels)

After holding the top spot for the best city for women in tech for the last five years, the District has fallen to #2 in SmartAsset’s 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 and income, the gender pay gap and tech employment growth.

Here are the D.C.-specific stats from the 2020 report:

  • Tech jobs filled by women — 39%
  • Income after housing costs — $59,981
  • Gender pay gap — Women make 93% of what men make
  • Four-year tech employment growth — 21%

Looking at last year’s stats, the District’s four-year tech employment growth fell from 24% to 21%, and the gender pay gap decreased from 95% to 93%. Even though D.C. didn’t improve in those categories, it improved by 0.1% in the tech jobs filled by women category, while income after housing cost went up by $1,495 for this year.

After climbing the ranks for the past few years, our sister market Baltimore took over as the top city for women in tech this year.

Here’s Baltimore’s key stats about women in tech:

  • Tech jobs filled by women — 32.6%
  • Income after housing costs — $60,108
  • Gender pay gap — Women make 94% of what men make
  • Four-year tech employment growth — 26%

The Maryland city ranks higher than D.C. except in the tech jobs filled by women category. Another one of DC’s sister markets, Philly, fell from the #3 spot last year to #9 on the list this year. Check out this Twitter thread for more information, and share your opinion if you’d like.

Arlington ranked right behind D.C. at #3, after jumping up two spots compared to last year. Overall, Arlington made significant strides in its women tech employment outlook: Compared to last year, Arlington’s four-year tech employment growth increased by 6%, and most notably, the income-after-housing costs increased from $60,581 last year to $65,210 this year. The Virginia city also ranked as the sixth-highest amount for the income after housing costs metric across all 59 cities surveyed.

Arlington has consistently improved on its ranking over the past two years; maybe Amazon’s second headquarters being built in Northern Virginia has something to do with that.


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