Forget Scandinavia - no countries have really achieved equality for women in work
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If you look at the OECD’s study about which is the best country to work, the one that made it into the first place is none other than Switzerland. However, 2015 research from the World Economic Forum (WEF) on gender equality, Switzerland is in the top ten, in eighth place - but only ranked 47th out of 143 countries for ‘Wage Equality for similar work’. It was also only ranked 50th in terms of the number of female legislators, senior officials, and managers, diving it into a 17th place in terms of economic participation and opportunities offered to women. As such, which countries do in fact offer the best professional opportunities for women? Let’s consider the gender pay gap. Here is the painful truth: the average gender wage gap in 2012 in the European Union was 16.4%. According to the OECD, the United Kingdom is doing worse than this, with a 17.48% gap in 2014. The best European countries are Belgium and Luxembourg, both of which have a gap of 6.5% - unfortunately, they offer women less opportunities in managerial and political positions. Norway, being the second best country in terms of gender equality and following Switzerland in the OECD’s study, is just beyond these two with a 7% percent gap. Indeed the other countries in the top four for gender equality are not doing well in terms of the gender pay gap, with the leading country Iceland having a 14.08% gap, second placed Sweden a 15.13% gap, and finally Finland a 18.73% gap. Not what anyone would could equal.
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