Quick Bites | The Rise of Women in the Workforce

One of the most positive economic trends of recent decades has been the rise of women in the workforce. The chart below tracks a range of countries, mapping the participation rate for women in the workforce (the x-axis) against the share of CEOs that are female (the y-axis). This attempts to measure how much a country has eliminated the “glass ceiling.” (Note: the data is limited to observing public companies, and it is likely that women’s leadership in private companies is higher.)


Some countries are notable for having very low female workforce participation, such as Egypt, India, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia, and very few female CEOs.

Other countries such as Norway, Singapore, and France are notable for having both a relatively high share of women in the workforce and a significantly greater proportion of female CEOs. (Unfortunately, even in Norway, men account for more than 85% of the top jobs.)


Most countries, including Australia, the US, and Britain are somewhere in between those extremes: many women in the workforce, but not nearly enough CEOs. Australia has a female participation rate of 88% of the male participation rate, yet only 7.5% of CEOs are women. I’m proud that Clime is pulling its weight in that regard with a female CEO and making a difference!


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