Report: Philly top market for gender diversity in tech sector

Report: Philly top market for gender diversity in tech sector

The Philadelphia region is the leader for gender diversity in the technology industry, according to a new CBRE Group research report.
The report, called “Scoring Tech Talent,” ranks 50 U.S. markets according to their ability to attract and grow tech talent. Philadelphia was first with 31 percent of the tech occupations in the market being held by women.
The report from the Los Angeles-based commercial real estate company also ranks Philadelphia as a top five market for millennial population growth, a characteristic shared by strong tech talent markets nationwide.

But the city is only ranked 19th on the overall tech talent list, which was dominated by established tech markets like San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Seattle. But up and coming markets such as Oklahoma City and Nashville grew at a faster clip, with a combined tech talent growth rate of 39 percent between 2010 and 2013, higher than Seattle (38 percent) and just below that of San Francisco (44 percent) and Baltimore (42 percent). Portland, Ore., and Charlotte, N.J., both saw tech talent growth rates of 28 percent, outpacing well-known tech markets like Austin (26.5 percent), Silicon Valley (20.8 percent) and Los Angeles (13.6 percent). Philadelphia’s tech talent growth rate during that same span was 13.3 percent.

“For the past two years, the high-tech industry has not only spurred the economy as a whole, but it has been the top driver of commercial office activity, influencing rents and vacancy in major markets across the U.S., including Philadelphia,” said Rija Beares, who leads CBRE’s tech and media practice in Philadelphia.
“In Philly, major investments have been made by the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, and Comcast, which when combined with the surge of millennials moving into the city and the expansion of tech jobs is really transforming Philadelphia into a hotbed of tech activity. There is still significant work to do in terms of gender diversity in the tech sector, but it’s encouraging to see Philly leading the way on that front.”
The CBRE report also identified various characteristics that are shared by technology markets:
• Gender Diversity: The U.S. average breakdown for tech talent occupations is 76.2 percent male and 23.8 percent female. Half of tech talent markets have a greater concentration of women in these occupations when compared with the U.S. average, but the numbers are still imbalanced. As previously noted, Philadelphia greatly exceeds that average with 31 percent being female.
• Education: Nearly 75 percent of the top 50 tech talent markets have an educational attainment rate above the national average. New York, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles topped the list for the most tech degrees completed in a two-year period. When it comes to small markets, Columbus was the standout in this area, besting large markets like Dallas/Fort Worth and Philadelphia in the number of tech degrees completed in the last two years. CBRE said these numbers are an indication of future tech talent growth.
• Millennials: The presence of millennials in the workforce has contributed to the growth of tech talent labor pools. Philadelphia’s millennial population increase of 13.3 percent since 2009, placing it in the top five of growth millennial growth markets nationally.

A CBRE study released in early February said that Philadelphia’s tech employment options have increased 30 percent since 2009 but the city still doesn’t have enough jobs for all its local talent.