New Zealand, "the best place to be a working woman in the rich world"

by Toby Manhire / 08 March, 2013
The Economist puts NZ at the top of its "glass ceiling index".
The obligatory picture of Kate Sheppard.

Probably they haven't heard of Alasdair Thompson.

In its daily chart feature, the Economist website presents what it calls "The glass ceiling index".

At the top? New Zealand.

It explains:

To mark International Women’s Day, the Economist has compiled its own “glass-ceiling index” to show where women have the best chance of equal treatment at work.

Based on data mainly from the OECD, it compares five indicators across 26 countries: the number of men and women respectively with tertiary education; female labour-force participation; the male-female wage gap; the proportion of women in senior jobs; and net child-care costs relative to the average wage.The first four are given equal weighting, the fifth a lower one, since not all working women have children.

New Zealand scores high on all the indicators. Finland does best on education; Sweden has the highest female labour-force participation rate, at 78%; and Spain has the smallest wage gap, at 6%. The places not to be are South Korea and Japan, partly because so few women hold down senior jobs (though the new president of South Korea is a woman).

Hurrah. All is well, then. Except, also to mark International Women's Day, a survey from Grant Thornton appears. It goes like this:

Having once been a world leader in the number of women in senior management roles in business, New Zealand is now dropping back to the pack and the outlook continues to get gloomier, according to the latest research from Grant Thornton.

The figures from Grant Thornton’s International Business Report (IBR), to mark International Women’s Day on March 8, reveal that while the percentage of women in senior management positions throughout New Zealand’s businesses has stalled at 28%, it is the other trends in the report that are more discouraging.

Stacey Davies, partner, Grant Thornton New Zealand, said that standing still means we are actually going backwards compared with the rest of the world.

Not to mention this,

Bottom of the Economist chart, which you can view here, is South Korea - by some distance.
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