When it comes to gender equality in the workplace, Scandinavian countries have traditionally led the charge on progressive policies. However, a new study conducted by Reboot Online for International Women’s Day has unearthed some surprising new findings!
By evaluating a variety of factors that contribute to women's success in the workforce, Reboot Online created a points-based index that determined which European countries offer the best prospects for female professionals.
Which country in Europe is the best for women to work in?
Bulgaria is the best European country for women with a combined total of 236.6 points out of a possible 300. The country is the second-best for women in leadership (90/100 points), losing out only to Norway (100/100 points), which boasts one of the most egalitarian societies in the world. It also offers the best maternity leave package in Europe, scoring a maximum of 100 points.
Following in second place is Croatia with a combined total of 229.9 points. The Croats are second to Bulgaria in terms of maternity leave credentials (96.6/100 points). It seems that the country is also on the right track with the gender pay gap, as it registered the second-highest points for economic opportunity (96.6/100), losing out only to Italy who scored an impressive 100 points. However, the 36.6 points they received for women in leadership shows that there is still work to be done.
Included in the top ten European best countries for women to work are -
3rd place - Estonia (220 points)
4th place – Norway and Slovakia (209.9 points)
5th place - The Netherlands (206.5 points)
6th place – Slovenia (199.9 points)
7th place – Romania (196.6 points)
8th place – Italy (179.9 points)
Following in 9th place is Latvia who scored more points for economic opportunity (86.6/100) than traditional economic powerhouses such as the United Kingdom in 12th (66.6/100 points) and Denmark in 15th place (56.6/100). Making the top ten is Sweden who also lost to the Baltic country (166.5) when it comes to economic opportunity (73.3/100) and maternity leave (16.6/100).
Which is the country with the least opportunities for women?
In last place is Turkey, scoring 39.9 points out of a possible 300. Despite its poor performance, the country has surprisingly earned more points for women in leadership (13.3/100) than countries traditionally known for being equal such as Germany (10 points) and Austria (3.3 points). Just ahead in 26th place is Portugal (69.9 points out of a possible 300), also surpassing Germany and Austria for women in leadership (26.6/100 points), although not scoring any points for maternity leave.
Naomi Aharony, CEO and Co-Founder at Reboot Online has provided some comments on the results of the study and women in the workplace - “The overall results have suggested that there is some progress in terms of gender equality in the workplace in Europe. Balkan countries such as Bulgaria and Croatia ranked highly, indicating that there are some improvements being made. Although, the disappointing positions of affluent Western European countries such as Germany and Denmark reaffirm that the progress towards gender parity remains slow in Europe.
Although it is good to see some advancement women still face numerous challenges when it comes to gender equality in the workplace that involves not only the wage gap, lack of leadership representation, government incentives and work-life balance. The prevailing circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic have undoubtedly intensified these challenges, with working mothers taking the brunt of the repercussions.”
1. Reboot Online made reference to the European Institute for Gender Equality to find the countries in Europe with most women in leadership positions in the second half of 2020 (2020-B2).
2. The ‘economic opportunity’ for women in the workforce was found in the Global Gender Report 2020, and it takes into consideration factors such as wage equality for similar work and estimated income.
3. The maternity leave benefits of each country were found on World Population Review, and took into consideration numbers of weeks of maternity leave multiplied by maternity leave rate (%).
4. Data were normalised using the percentrank.inc function in Excel. This ranks each factor between 0 and 100 based on the relative position within the sample.
5. The final score is calculated as a sum of the three factors for each country, with the maximum score possible being 300.