In Houston, there’s one industry where the wage gap between men and women employees is virtually nothing: the tech industry. According to a 2019 study by SmartAsset, Houston female tech employees make 99% of what male employees do. That’s the highest percentage in the country.
SmartAsset also ranked Houston fourth overall as the best U.S. cities for women in tech, noting that after housing costs female employees take home $60,646, and in the last four years, the number of technology jobs in Houston has grown 19%.
Other strong cities for women in tech
However, in Houston only 26% of tech jobs are held by women, compared to 38.9% in Washington, D.C. In SmartAsset’s ranking, the nation’s capital ranked first as the best city for women in the tech industry. Baltimore ranked second in the report, and Philadelphia ranked third.
The only other Texas cities to rank in the top 50 were Forth Worth, at 20, and Plano, at 27. In Fort Worth, female tech employees make 87% of what male employees do. In Plano, it’s 84%.
Still areas where wage gap widens
In Hired’s 2019 pay inequality report, overall women in the tech industry earned 97% of what men did. However, black and Hispanic women didn’t reach that threshold. They made 89% and 91% of the earnings of white men, respectively. And while the number of women in tech design and product management positions was nearly equal in number to men in those roles, fewer women were in the following fields:
- software engineering
- data analytics
- DevOps (software development and IT operations)
The Hired report also noted that the pay gap does increase as women get older, dipping to 93% of what men earn for women tech employees ages 40-45.
Many factors play into why women in tech with more than 15 years of experience have a higher wage gap. The reasons are like those in other industries: women are less likely to receive promotions and they don’t ask for higher compensation as much. If female employees find out other women couldn’t advance their position or gain a higher salary, they are less likely to try to do the same. In some cases, only legal action prompts companies to equalize the pay for female employees.