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A Seat at the Table: Top 10 Cities for Women Executives

Cornerstone Editors

Silicon Valley doesn’t have a stellar reputation when it comes to gender equality at work, but a recent study shows it may actually be one of the best places in America for women to get a seat at the executive table.

InfoGroup, a marketing and data analytics firm with access to more than 21 million businesses, determined which U.S. cities have the highest concentration of businesses with female executives. And despite recent diversity reports from big tech companies like GoogleFacebook and Twitter acknowledging both gender and ethnicity gaps, three Bay Area cities landed in the top ten list for the best female executive representation.

Dover, Del. – the home of Delaware State University – was the surprise standout at number one with 45 percent of local companies having women in the C-suite. In general, university cities ranked high across the list, with four other college towns on the top ten list and sixteen on the top fifty.

From the workplaces of Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett-Packard, to Karen Luey, CFO of Jamba Juice, here are the top ten cities (ranked by the percentage of local companies with at least one female executive):

1. Dover, Delaware (44.8 percent)

Population: 37,366

Major Industries: Education, manufacturing, tourism

Major Employers: Delaware State University, Kraft Foods, Playtex Products Inc.

2. Palo Alto, California (42 percent)

Population: 66,642

Major Industries: Technology, automobile manufacturing, healthcare

Major Employers: General Motors, Hewlett-Packard, VA Medical Center

3. Chapel Hill, North Carolina (41.5 percent)

*image via Shutterstock

Population: 59,635

Major Industries: Education, healthcare

Major Employers: Blue Cross/Blue Shield of North Carolina, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Hospitals

4. Washington, D.C. (41.1 percent)

*image via Shutterstock

Population: 646,449

Major Industries: Government, education, media

Major Employers: George Washington University, Graham Holdings Corporation, Federal Government

5. Bethesda, Maryland (41 percent - Tie)

Population: 60,858

Major Industries: Finance, technology, real estate

Major Employers: ABT Associates, Marriott International, Lockheed Martin

6. New Haven, Connecticut (41 percent - Tie)

*image via Shutterstock

Population: 130,660

Major Industries: Education, manufacturing, utilities

Major Employers: Sargent Manufacturing Company, United Illuminating Co., Yale University

7. Menlo Park, California (40.9 percent)

Population: 33,071

Major Industries: Technology, research services

Major Employers: Facebook, Sri International Inc., Stanford Linear Accelerator

8. Frankfort, Kentucky (40.6 percent)

Population: 27,453

Major Industries: Education, manufacturing, retail

Major Employers: Beam Suntory, Kentucky State University, Montaplast of North America, TOPY America

9. Williamsburg, Virginia (40.5 percent)

*image via Shutterstock

Population: 15,206

Major Industries: Retail, education, healthcare

Major Employers: College of William and Mary, Colonial Williamsburg Hotel, Sentara Healthcare

10. Emeryville, California (40 percent)

Population: 10,777

Major Industries: Technology, education, healthcare

Major Employers: Jamba Juice, LeapFrog, Pixar

InfoGroup’s report analyzed nearly 500,000 U.S. firms in 12,000 cities with 10 or more employees and C-suite, president or vice president positions. Then, they determined how many companies had women in leadership positions. The final list included only cities with at least 100 businesses meeting the criteria. Read the full study here.

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