Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) occupations were expected to undergo rapid growth, along with healthcare, creative fields, and business services. Everything that unfolded throughout 2020—and continues to develop—has underscored the importance of STEM work more so than at any other time in recent history. In fact, employment projections published in January by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed that STEM occupations would likely grow 8 percent by 2029, compared to 3.7 percent growth for all occupations.
Meanwhile, female representation in STEM fields remains disproportionately low, according to findings from CommercialCafe. Specifically, even though women outnumber men among college graduates in the U.S., they continue to be vastly underrepresented in most STEM fields and majors.
One year ago, CommercialCafe conducted its first study dedicated to ranking the top U.S. cities for women working in STEM. Revisiting the topic in 2021, the company has has refined its methodology to focus on indicators that track local STEM employment and the representation of women in the local STEM sector, as well as the levels and evolution of income for women relative to the overall sector.
View the graphic below to discover the Top 10 U.S. Cities for Women in STEM.
The study's full ranking includes the 120 U.S. cities with a population of at least 200,000 and for which data was available on all the metric categories that they considered for this study. While there is demographic divergence across the list—as well as variation in the occupational mix among the cities considered for this article—each locale has distinct merits that influence decisions of where one would work and live.
While western U.S. cities account for eight of the 10 best cities in the 2021 ranking, the highest score went to the largest urban center in the Northeast: New York City earned a total of 20.62 points out of the maximum of 30 points. New York boasts one of the most diverse economies in the country, and STEM jobs here account for 5.2 percent of the total employment in the city. Specifically, the local STEM sector accounts for nearly 216,000 jobs, 31.8 percent of which are held by women—one of the highest-scoring representations among the cities in the ranking. Meanwhile, in terms of pay, New York recorded the fifth-highest increase of median yearly income for women holding local STEM jobs. Their median income saw a five-year increase of 22.2 percent starting in 2015.
San Francisco, Seattle, San Jose, and Fremont round out the Top 5. To view the rest of the rankings and read the study, visit https://www.commercialcafe.com/blog/top-us-cities-representation-women-stem-2021/