Amid Women’s History Month and on the heels of last week’s Equal Pay Day, North Texas women working in STEM fields appear to be on the right career path, and in the right place, 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, Dallas and two suburbs — Frisco and Plano — rank among top Southern cities for women in STEM. Dallas ranks eighth, while Frisco comes in slightly ahead at No. 7, and Plano rounds out the top 10.
According to the study, STEM jobs account for 5.6 percent of all jobs in Dallas, with women holding 28.3 percent of those positions, approximately 10,827 jobs. The median annual income for women in STEM in Dallas is $70,105.
In Frisco, STEM jobs account for 14.8 percent of all jobs, with women in 30.6 percent of those positions, about 4,723 positions. Their median annual income is $83,854.
And in Plano, STEM jobs account for 14.7 percent of all jobs, with women in 23.1 percent of those positions, approximately 5,243 positions. Their median annual income is $83,142.
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.
Curiously, the top Southern city is Washington, D.C., which scored 13.57 points out of a possible 30 points. Wait, Washington, D.C. is a Southern city?
Back to Texas.
Unsurprisingly, Austin ranks highest among cities in the Lone Star State and the second-best Southern city, behind Washington, D.C., 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.
As the 12th-best city nationwide, Austin received a total score of 13.18 points out of a possible 30.
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.
In both Dallas and Plano, the percentage of women in STEM jobs has decreased by about 1 percent since 2015, but median annual income has jumped 34.1 percent in Dallas and 10.5 percent in Plano. In Frisco, the percentage of women in STEM jobs has increased by 0.6 percent since 2015, and income has grown by just 0.4 percent.
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