On Wall Street, individual performance is measured directly in dollars and cents. Compensation disparities are much greater and the culture is less collaborative. Would most women be better off in that environment? I seriously doubt it.
So what you are saying is that software engineers really do not get paid that much, and the only reason their salaries are so high (from glassdoor) is because most of those high paying companies are located in SV, which then leads to the point I was making earlier that women who have aptitude to be software engineers may want to pursue other more lucrative careers rather than duking it out with those boys in tech.
Companies, whether in high tech or high finance or any other industry, don't pay you more because the cost of living is higher in your area. They pay you more because their competitors in the area would pay more for your talent. It's a function of supply and demand.
Some companies actually do pay a geographical adjustment to salary. Mine did. I'm retired now.
These are smart, highly able young women who have done really well in school but who have still had difficulty finding post grad employment. Granted, they have managed to find places in the end but not as easily as I would have expected..
My own sense is that the companies whining that they can't find qualified women are not looking hard enough. Women are out there. Approximately 40-50% of the students in my daughter's classes are female. Perhaps her school isn't typical but more and more women are entering CS in some form
Hiring, processes are intense, but seem reasonable. Apparently, many companies found that while many candidates looked good on paper they were weak on execution. So, many now utilize programming tests including white-board presentations to see how the candidates approach problems and present their solutions (something they will routinely be required to do if hired).