Iceland ranked the top country for where female workers feel most empowered - Business Leader News

Iceland ranked the top country for where female workers feel most empowered

New research from ex-pat insurance providers William Russell has revealed the countries around the world where female workers are most empowered, with Iceland ranking at the top.

In order to score countries and rank them, the team at William Russell looked at a number of factors to create the Female Empowerment Score; this included Gender Pay Gap, the proportion of women who achieve tertiary education, the length of paid maternity leave and female representation in government.

The 10 best countries for female empowerment:



Female Empowerment Score 

1 Iceland 7.64
2 Finland 7.62
3 Ireland 7.22
4 Belgium 7.12
5 Denmark 7.04
6 Canada 6.83
7 France 6.77
8 Norway 6.73
9 Sweden 6.67
10 Lithuania 6.64


Iceland tops the list as the most female-friendly place to live and work, with a female empowerment score of 7.64. This Nordic island nation is well known for its progressive views and welcoming culture with more than half of adult women having achieved tertiary education such as a university degree.

Another Nordic country makes the top three, as Finland snags second place with a score of 7.62. Finland has achieved excellent representation for women in its government, with 50% of all ministerial positions being occupied by women.

Ireland takes third place in their ranking, with a female empowerment score of 7.22. Ireland has a relatively low gender wage gap of 7.99% and a very competitive 182 days of paid maternity leave for new mothers.

The countries with the smallest gender wage gap:

Rank Country Gender Wage Gap %
1 Colombia 4.00
2 Luxembourg 4.14
3 Belgium 4.19
4 Costa Rica 4.73
5 Denmark 4.86
6 Norway 4.99
7 Slovenia 5.00
8 Hungary 5.06
9 Italy 5.60
10 Greece 5.91


Colombia takes the top spot for having the smallest gender wage gap at just 4.00% while also having a relatively large 126 days of paid maternity leave.

Luxembourg has the second-lowest gender wage gap of 4.14%. This small European nation is a great place for women to work abroad, as, in addition to the fair wages, the country has very low unemployment.

Belgium takes third place, with a competitive wage gap of 4.19% the county also came fourth in our overall female empowerment ranking.

The research also reveals that the average gender wage gap around the world is 12.28%, and the UK is above that with 16.01%. The length of paid maternity leave is different all around the world, and the average is 103.6 days. The UK is less than half of that with 42 days whilst Slovakia gives the most with 238 days.

The percentage of women who achieved tertiary education in the UK (47.7%), is higher than the global average (40.7%). Israel is at the top with 88%.

The global average for the proportion of women in ministerial positions is 34.44%. The UK is beneath that with 23.81%, whereas Belgium comes out on top with 57.14%.