Study Reveals: How The US Ranks For Female Achievement & Advancements On Gender Equality
The Female Opportunity Index 2021
Data shows levels of advancement in equality and career opportunity for women in 12 US cities and 100 countries around the world, focusing on political and corporate leadership, gender wage gaps, legal support, maternity leave, and more.
- Seattle is the highest-ranking city in the US index, with a high level of female leadership in government, corporations and newspapers. Washington DC and San Francisco rank second and third.
- San Francisco has had the most years under female mayorship since 1970 (12), while Portland has the highest share of women in local government (67%).
- Norway tops the international index, followed by Finland and Iceland.
- Worldwide, the US has the most female entrepreneurs, while Sweden has the most women in top management positions, and Japan has the highest female access to education score.
Digital finance provider N26 has released a study that measures female workplace opportunity and achievement in the US and around the world. Aimed at shining a light on gender equality in business, government, and society, the research looks to uncover the many existing inequalities between men and women in the workplace and beyond. It also highlights the incredible achievements of women in both professional and personal fields in a difficult and tumultuous year as a result of the global pandemic.
How the study was conducted:
The index began by selecting 100 countries around the world, across all continents, with comparable data on women in the workplace. To establish the level of gender parity from the highest positions of leadership, N26 calculated how many years a country has been governed by a woman since 1970, as well as the total number of women in governmental or parliamentary positions. Next, they looked at women in managerial positions, as well as data around female entrepreneurs in each country, to determine which nations help to foster the strongest female leadership opportunities and achievements.
The research then turned to the number of women in the typically male-dominated arena of STEM, focusing not only on those studying, but the percentage of women actually working in that field after graduation. Next, as all women know, fair and equal pay is one of the biggest issues prominent in the workplace, so the average salary and the gender wage gap were calculated in each country. To help highlight what this means in real terms, the “Equal Pay Day” was calculated for each nation based on the gender wage gap, revealing which day women practically work for free until the end of the year.
The data was complemented by investigating female access to education as an important indicator and enabler of opportunity, as well as legislation such as a woman’s right to divorce, workplace discrimination laws, and more. As a country’s attitude towards starting a family and how that interacts with work is a clear expression of gender parity, we included the total days of maternity leave allowed in each country.
To gain a deeper understanding of the situation on a local level, N26 decided to also conduct a focused study for 12 major US cities, looking at the career achievements of women in senior government, executive and managerial positions. This included the presence of female leadership in local municipalities, top corporations, and editorial boards of local newspapers, as well as the number of companies that have at least one female founder.
The total score takes into consideration all of these data points to determine which countries and US cities are most successfully leveling the playing field, and which nations still have some way to go to improve women’s access to equal opportunities.