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September 1, 2014

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Analysis finds most Las Vegas tech workers are women

Las Vegas is the only major technology city where women are a majority of the industry’s workforce, according to a recent analysis.

Philadelphia-based RJMetrics examined publicly available data from Meetup, a popular website that allows users to organize local gatherings, and estimated that women constitute nearly 65 percent of all tech workers in Las Vegas. The next closest city was Oakland, Calif., where the tech industry is about 47 percent female, according to RJMetrics.

The same analysis, written about on RJMetrics’ blog on Tuesday, determined only 29 percent of all tech workers in the U.S. are women. Nationwide, women are nearly half the total workforce, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

So why is Las Vegas so far ahead of everyone else? The data found a positive correlation between cities with female mayors — like Las Vegas’ Carolyn Goodman — and more women in tech.

“Outside of the tech bubble, Vegas is a welcoming place for females on a number of fronts,” the blog post’s author, Anita Andrews, wrote. Nevada is the best state for gender paycheck equality, she noted.

(She also said that “female mayors is by no means the primary influence on women in tech.”)

To arrive at its numbers, RJMetrics looked at Meetup’s technology category, from which it downloaded data for all global meetups. From there, it obtained names for members of the biggest public groups in the 50 biggest tech cities.

“Typically the biggest group in a given city is a large group with general membership that is representative of the overall tech scene,” Andrews wrote. “Using these groups as a proxy for overall city population seems reasonable to us.”

About 75 percent of Meetup users supply a name recognized by the U.S. Census Bureau, allowing RJMetrics to identify gender.

Lately, the tech industry — particularly in California’s Silicon Valley — has come under fire for not being diverse enough.

Google revealed in May that just 30 percent of its workers are women and more than 60 percent are white.

Then LinkedIn announced that its workers are 39 percent women and 53 percent white. Yahoo said its global employees are 62 percent men, while its U.S. employees are 50 percent white.

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