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)

 *image via Flickr Creative Commons
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.