Despite gaining more positions in political office, women still lag behind men in the world of work according to The Economist’s annual index

Ahead of International Women’s Day, The Economist‘s glass-ceiling index (GCI) shows that women are still lagging behind their male counterparts in senior business roles, making up on average only a third of managers and just over a quarter of board seats across the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The GCI is a yearly assessment of where women have the best and worst chances of equal treatment at work in countries in the OECD, a group of mostly rich countries. It combines data on higher education, labour-force participation, pay, child-care costs, maternity and paternity rights, business-school applications and representation in senior jobs to create a ranking of 29 OECD countries.

This year’s index shows for the second year in a row that Sweden is the best place to work if you are a woman, followed by its Nordic neighbours, Iceland, Finland and Norway. The Nordics are particularly good at helping women complete university, secure a job, access senior positions, and take advantage of quality parental-leave systems and flexible work schedules.

South Korea bottoms out the index for the tenth year in a row, with Japan and Turkey not far behind. But there are signs of progress. A new Korean law barring big companies from having single-gender boards, set to go into effect in August 2022, helped lift the proportion of women on boards from less than 5% to 8.7%.

Elections held last year in a handful of OECD countries, including Iceland, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic, helped push average representation of women in parliaments up to 33%. When The Economist first compiled the index in 2013, that figure was just 26%.

Additional highlights of The Economist‘s 2022 glass-ceiling index include:

  • The United States fell by two places to the 20th spot, with decreases in both the proportion of women in the workforce and female GMAT-exam entrants. It is still an outlier for providing no federally-mandated parental leave
  • For the first time since our ranking began, Britain moved above the OECD average to claim the 17th spot. Its share of women completing tertiary education increased from 49% to 52%, while its share of women in the workforce also grew
  • France fell two places to the 7th spot, performing well overall on female corporate representation but with growing childcare costs
  • Germany went up four places to 18th. Female representation in Germany’s parliament increased to over a third following elections in September, while its parental leave remains above OECD average.

This is the tenth year that The Economist has released its glass-ceiling index. When it was launched in 2013 there were five indicators and 26 countries; today it consists of ten indicators including maternity and paternity leave for 29 OECD countries.

The glass-ceiling index sits within a hub, “Women Around the World“, launched in celebration of International Women’s Day. The hub highlights some of the best coverage across The Economist on the lives of women around the world—from inspiring stories to the political and economic inequalities that persist globally. The hub includes an essay from education campaigner and Nobel laureate, Malala Yousafzai, and guest essays on education for women and girls across the world.

The hub is supported by a content-led marketing campaign, “Women shape the future”, which focuses on future-building and the education of women and girls. Creative for the campaign was produced by The Economist‘s in-house studio team, and will appear on digital display, social and podcast platforms.

To view the full interactive glass-ceiling index, please visit The Economist‘s hub with content on International Women’s Day: https://www.economist.com/IWDay 

The glass-ceiling index 2022          
Best and worst OECD countries to be a working woman

1          Sweden
2          Iceland
3          Finland
4          Norway
5          Portugal
6          Belgium
7          France
8          New Zealand
9          Poland
10        Canada
11        Slovakia
12        Denmark
13        Spain
14        Australia
15        Austria
16        Italy
17        Britain
            OECD average
18        Germany
19        Ireland
20        United States
21        Netherlands
22        Israel
23        Czech Republic
24        Hungary
25        Greece
26        Switzerland
27        Turkey
28        Japan
29        South Korea

About The Economist (Economist.com)
With a growing global audience and a trusted reputation for insightful analysis, The Economist is one of the most widely recognised sources covering current affairs in the world. In addition to the weekly digital and print editions and website, The Economist publishes Espresso, a daily news app, and Global Business Review, a bilingual English-Chinese product. The Economist produces several podcasts each week and short- and long-form video. The Economist maintains robust social communities on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networks. A recipient of many editorial and marketing awards, The Economist was named the most trusted news source by the 2017 Trusting News Project Report.

SOURCE The Economist

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