In 1920, America granted women the constitutional right to vote. A century later, women still faced serious obstacles to equality. To mark International Women's Day on 8 March, we decided to provide updated statistics on the workplace index. That chart ranks 29 countries on ten indicators of women's equality in the workplace: level of education, participation in the workforce, wages, childcare costs, maternity and paternity rights, the number of applications for training in business schools, and representation in management positions (management positions, company boards, and parliament).
This year, Iceland ranks first in our ranking, overtaking both Norway and Sweden. Like its Nordic neighbors, Iceland is particularly good at helping women achieve academic success. More than half of them have a university degree. And guaranteeing access to corporate boards (women hold almost half of the country's board positions, thanks to the mandatory 40% quota that came into effect in 2013). Women also make up 50% of Icelanders taking the GMAT, the de facto entry exam to business school. Given that so many women aspire to a career in business, it is not surprising that they hold 41.5% of the leading positions in the country. Only Poland, by 42.5%, is ranked higher on this indicator.