INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Silicon Valley tech companies are struggling to recruit and retain women, but the Circle City isn’t having a problem. According to a recent study released by Smartasset, Indianapolis is ranked as the fourth best city in the nation for women in technology.
The study looked at factors such as gender pay gap, income after housing costs, percentage of tech jobs filled by women, and four-year tech employment growth.
According to the study, Indianapolis is actually one of only three cities in the nation with a gender pay gap that is skewed in favor of women. The median pay for women in computer and mathematical occupations is around $61,497. That’s about $1,300 more than the median pay for men with the same jobs.
This pay gap that favors women is significantly different than the national average for tech jobs. Data from Payscale reveals that the uncontrolled gender pay gap for individual contributors and managers is 19% and 22%, respectively.
Indianapolis is home to over 150 tech companies, including Angie’s List. Angie Hicks, the founder and CMO of the company, believes that strong role models and a female presence on the executive team are important for attracting women. “The environment here is very supportive and very nurturing. I think a lot of women like that they can have a balance here because no one is going to make your family a priority except yourself,” Hicks told FOX59.
Hicks is an Indiana native, and she is excited that her home state is helping to lead the way in an industry to which she has dedicated so much time.
“It’s fantastic. I’m a firm believer in going wherever there’s enough talent, and in Indiana we have a nice group of tech schools. I think one of the hardest things for entrepreneurs is not drowning in a sea of opportunity, and that’s intensified in Silicon Valley,” Hicks said.
Hicks’ advice to any girl thinking about pursuing a job in the tech industry is to “go for it.”
“You are going to be highly sought after. I’m all about making yourself differentiated, and it’s going to position you well. Having technical expertise is a valuable asset in today’s world no matter what task you’re doing,” Hicks said.
There are a wide range of jobs in the tech industry. According to Mike Langellier, president and CEO of TechPoint which is an organization that works to accelerate the growth of Indiana’s tech community, there are two categories of jobs: tech-skilled jobs and business-skilled jobs.
Tech-skilled jobs include jobs like software development, IT, graphic design, and quality assurance.
Business-skilled jobs, on the other hand, include sales, marketing, finance, and HR.
“The average job in tech pays more than two-times the average wage, and that’s a great thing for individuals,” said Langellier.