The best countries to work if you’re a woman

With its generous paid parental leave and flexible working arrangements, Norway provides the best work participation and opportunities for women, according to the Global Gender Gap Report. Find out how New Zealand stacks up.

The best countries to work if you’re a woman
Gender equality in the workplace is a global issue and for women who want the best chance of economic participation and opportunity, Norway is the place to be.

The Scandinavian country is ranked number one out of the 136 countries surveyed in the 2013 Global Gender Gap Report in the economic participation and opportunity category.

Norway is known for its generous 12 months’ paid parental leave, which can be shared between mothers and fathers, and its universal access to highly-subsidised childcare.

It also boasts flexible working arrangements, with shorter working hours and the ability for many women to work part-time to balance work and family life.

In the Global Gender Gap Report, countries are also scored on educational attainment, health and survival and political empowerment for women.

The country with the best overall score is Iceland, followed by Finland and Norway.

New Zealand ranks seventh overall, but comes in at number 15 for economic participation and opportunity, first-equal for educational attainment,  12th for political empowerment, but only 93rd for health and survival.

How other countries compare

Top 10 countries for women overall
  1. Iceland
  2. Finland
  3. Norway
  4. Sweden
  5. Philippines
  6. Ireland
  7. New Zealand
  8. Denmark
  9. Switzerland
  10. Nicaragua
Overall rank: 24
Economic participation and opportunity:  13
Educational attainment: First-equal
Health and survival: 69
Political empowerment: 43
United States
Overall rank: 23
Economic participation and opportunity: 6
Educational attainment: First-equal
Health and survival: 33
Political empowerment: 60
Overall rank: 20
Economic participation and opportunity: 9
Educational attainment: First-equal
Health and survival: 49
Political empowerment: 42
United Kingdom
Overall rank: 18
Economic participation and opportunity: 35
Educational attainment: 31
Health and survival: 92
Political empowerment: 29

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