Britain is amongst the worst countries in Europe for gender diversity

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The UK is one of the worst countries in Europe for gender diversity at work, reveals a new report, despite continued efforts to close the gender gap.

The new survey from Glassdoor Economic Research shows Britain ranking 11th out of 18 for gender equality, behind Sweden and Norway. The research took into account wages, board level representation and the gap between male and female employment.

Behind the UK, Italy and Greece held the largest differences in the balance between men and women at 18 and 17 percentage points respectively. The gender pay gap increased once women had children, meaning women who work and have a family are worse off. The ‘cost of motherhood’ was highest in Ireland, Germany and Norway.

The research also suggests that women who go on into further education are significantly more likely to be employed, compared to those who hadn’t.

The report, titled, ‘Which Countries in Europe Have the Best Gender Equality in the Workplace?’ aims to identify where gender inequality is highest, in which roles women are under-represented and what impact is made on the gender pay gap when women begin a family.

Dr Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist of Glassdoor, said, “In the UK, there are fewer women than men in the workplace. However, this gap is considerably narrower for those with a university education. By contrast, Sweden, Norway and Finland all have an almost equal balance of men and women in the labour market and can be a lesson for the UK.”

“Of some concern is the high ‘cost of motherhood’ in the UK, whereby the gender pay gap widens amongst working women with children. British working mothers are significantly worse off than those without family responsibilities, and this pressure will not help the UK address its workplace diversity issues.”

“Sweden, Norway and Finland illustrate that it is possible to achieve near gender parity in the workplace.”

“This balance in the labour market can be a lesson for other countries. However, even in Norway the ‘cost of motherhood’ in terms of lower wages for women with children is one of the highest in Europe, illustrating that no country in the world is perfect.”

You can download the full report here.

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Alison Simpson
About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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