Israeli businesswoman. (shutterstock) shutterstock
Israeli businesswoman

2021 glass-ceiling index shows that Israel has done a better job advancing women to senior management positions than countries such as the UK, Japan, and Germany, among others.

By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel

In honor of International Women’s Day this week, The Economist magazine released its annual Glass Ceiling Index (GCI), which ranks countries based on women’s experiences breaking the “glass ceiling” into upper management positions.

In the rankings, Israel scored higher than Britain, Ireland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Netherlands, Greece, Switzerland, Turkey, Japan and South Korea.

The GCI is The Economist‘s yearly assessment of where women have the best and worst chances of equal treatment at work in countries that belong to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), whose members are among the most developed and well off in the world.

The annual index suggests that progress to the top of companies is slow for women in most OECD countries, meaning that Israel’s ranking that “startup nation” is not only a powerhouse in the Middle East, but is also punching above its weight with regard to gender equality.

The GCI combines data based on higher education, labor-force participation, pay, child-care costs, maternity and paternity rights, business-school applications and representation in senior jobs to create a ranking.

This year’s results show that the Scandinavian countries lead the way with Sweden ranked the best place to work if you are a woman, followed by its Nordic neighbors, Iceland, Finland and Norway.

The Nordic countries are particularly good at helping women complete university, secure jobs, access senior positions, and take advantage of quality parental-leave systems and flexible work schedules.

America ranks below the average for the OECD nations owing to poor marks on parental leave and political representation, but it has a high share of women in management (41%) and on company boards (28%). In both cases America outpaces Germany, which in January enacted a quota for female board members, but where the shares for management and boardrooms are 29% and 25%, respectively.

When The Economist launched its glass-ceiling index in 2013, there were only five indicators and 26 countries. Today, the ranking consists of ten indicators including maternity and paternity leave for 29 OECD countries.

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