Study: Milwaukee ranks among 10 best Midwestern cities for women in STEM

Falls behind Madison, Chicago

Milwaukee skyline
Milwaukee skyline

Milwaukee is one of the top metros in the Midwest for women working in STEM, according to a recent report by Commercial Cafe.

The report identified the top 10 cities in each region and nationally, based on metrics indicating representation of women in STEM occupations, the inclusivity of women in local economy and business environments, and the college-educated population of each city.

In the Midwest, Milwaukee ranked 8th, ahead of Lincoln, Nebraska and Omaha, Nebraska. Madison ranked 7th and Chicago ranked 6th. Detroit topped the list, partly due to a 19% increase of women in STEM fields between 2014 and 2018.

The Santa Barbara-based commercial real estate information services provider looked at cities with populations of 200,000 or more, that are located within the contiguous continental U.S.

Milwaukee made its strongest showing in housing affordability, educational attainment and female representation in management. Using 2018 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the study found that average rent accounts for 18% of the median income of female STEM workers, 56% of the college-educated population are female, and 55% of local management jobs are held by women.

Moreover, the STEM sector in Milwaukee accounts for 5% of all local jobs, with 26% occupied by women. By comparison, Madison’s STEM sector makes up 13% of all local jobs and women occupy 31%.

Commercial Cafe also compared cities on a national scale. Arlington, Virginia ranked highest, followed by San Francisco; Fremont, California and Washington D.C. Overall, the country’s western and southern regions rank higher than the Midwest and Northeast for women working in STEM.

“According to data analyzed by the National Girls Collaborative Project, women account for roughly half of the total college-educated workforce in the U.S., yet they’re represented in only 28% of science and engineering jobs,” according to the report. “Furthermore, within the range of STEM occupations, women tend to be more concentrated in social sciences and in agricultural, biological and environmental life sciences; here, the share of female job holders exceeds 45%. And, much like the female workforce, activity in industries pertaining to these fields is unevenly distributed across the country.”

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Maredithe Meyer
Maredithe Meyer started as an intern reporter at BizTimes in summer 2015. She currently covers entertainment, sports, tourism and restaurants. In May 2017, she graduated with a journalism degree from Marquette University where she worked as an in-depth projects reporter for the Marquette Wire and Marquette Tribune.