It looks like our city has some work to do. According to a recent SmartAsset report cited by Bloomberg, NYC dropped from fifth place to 27th in its ranking of top cities for women in tech from 2013 to 2018. We spoke with Bloomberg for the piece to share our thoughts on why that might be, but given our dedication to helping women close this gap in New York, we wanted to elaborate here. Below are a couple of reasons why we think New York is becoming less of a haven for women in tech:
Cost of living is too high. The truth is that New York has become a less friendly city for women AND men. The cost of living in New York combined with growing job opportunities in more affordable cities are probably huge contributors to the change. Add to that a decrease in foreign investment and a drop in the quality and availability of healthcare in New York, and the city stops appearing like the haven for disruption and innovative work culture that it once was.
Tech giants aren’t on top of things. The introduction and growth of the footprints of several tech giants who represent a material slice of the tech workforce and themselves suffer from gender imbalance is not helping this problem. These companies are at the root of the innovation scene in New York City, and as a result, they are also at the root of the issue.
Put succinctly: There’s a lot working against NYC today — small businesses are closing right and left and rents are “too damn high” and salaries do not meet cost of living needs. The reasons to stay, especially if you’re starting a family, no longer outweigh the compelling benefits to moving. Women are still being paid less to do the same jobs, and so while that is still the case, women will take advantage of working in places where they can afford to live comfortably (and independently).
But it’s not just New York that has this problem. Even SmartAsset’s top-ranked city, Baltimore, has a pay gap to remediate. Trends like that, and the desire to correct them, speak directly to the mission of Girls in Tech — not only in NYC but around the world.
To hear more from Girls in Tech on this topic, check out the Bloomberg article linked above.
Joey Fortuna and Madeline Pieratti contributed to this article.