Amid Women’s History Month and on the heels of this week’s Equal Pay Day, Austin women working in STEM fields appear to be on the right career path, and in the right town, according to one study.
In Commercial Café’s 2021 ranking of the top U.S. cities for women working in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math, Austin ranks as the top Texas city and the second-best Southern city for women in STEM.
According to the study, STEM jobs account for 12.6 percent of all jobs in Austin, with women holding 25.6 percent of those positions, approximately 18,667 jobs.
The study, which breaks down the analysis based on four sectors of the country — West, Midwest, South, and Northeast — considered three key categories (each worth as many as 10 points) in determining the top cities for women working in STEM: local STEM-sector size, representation of women in STEM occupations, and median earnings.
As the second-best Southern city for women working in STEM and the 12th-best nationwide, Austin received a total score of 13.18 points out of a possible 30 points, just slightly behind the top Southern city of Washington, D.C., which scored 13.57 points.
Though the study takes note of the maddening gender wage gap and the fact that women remain vastly underrepresented in most STEM fields and majors, Austin, in particular, has made strides in the past few years, gaining 4,347 new women STEM employees since 2015 — the biggest bump in the region. Additionally, the median annual income for women working in STEM jobs in Austin is $72,854, which represents 31.1 percent growth since 2015.
Apart from California, with 22 cities named in the study as best for women in STEM, Texas comes in second overall, with 14 cities included.
Houston ranked fifth in the region, with a total score of 11.68 points, while Dallas-Fort Worth suburb Frisco ranked seventh in the region, with a total score of 10.62 points. Dallas ranked eighth in the region, with a score of 10.48 points, and Plano rounded out the top 10 for the region, with 10.38 points.