The annual ranking by PricewaterhouseCoopers— the global professional services network— of how well women are represented and treated at the workplace, saw Iceland, Sweden and New Zealand occupying the first three positions.
Surprisingly, the US and UK ranked 23rd and 13th respectively. The ranking that covered more than 30 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, had the Nordic nations occupying five positions amongst the top ten.
While Sweden boasts of 69 per cent participation by women, the UK only has 57 per cent women participating in the workforce.
If the women’s employment levels are increased across all OECD countries, the gross domestic product may rise by more than $6 trillion. The economy in UK alone may witness increased earnings of $178 billion if more women join the workforce.
Even though China and India were not part of the study as they aren’t part of the OECD nations, had they been included China would have ranked 27th, higher than Japan, while India would be one of the poor performers, behind Korea, because of weak women’s participation.
The report reveals that in the last 18 years, the position of the U.S. has dropped by 14 places. This is attributed to a drop in the number of full-time women workers. In Britain, it is the gender pay gap that acts as a hurdle. However, rules have been put in place to ensure that all organisations with a staff strength of over 250 have to reveal to the public every year, through a report, the difference in pay that exists between their male and female staff.