FINDINGS FROM THE 2017 INDEX

Which sector of government has the most women leaders?

graph of percentage representation in national parliament vs municipal positions
  • From the data, we see that the civil service sector has the highest representation of women by sector.
  • The civil service sector has the highest proportion of women in leadership with women holding 29.7% of leadership positions on average. There is a gap as women hold 43.9% of all civil service positions - representing a 14 point gap between overall participation and leadership.
  • Even though leadership in this sector is still below the 50% mark, the civil service serves as the high water mark.
  • The data also shows that civil service is going to become potentially the first of the government sectors to achieve parity in both participation and leadership.

Is there a relationship between pathways to leadership available to women and the power a woman can hold?

graph of pathways index score vs power index score
  • There is a statistically significant and positive relationship between pathways and power to 95% confidence.
  • Pathways seems to matter the most when looking at which areas of government women end up in (finance vs education) and thus glass walls.
  • Sweden is an example where women have a high employment rate (69.1%) and are leading 38% of major parties. They represent 30% of basic function ministers, 30% of economy ministers, and 67% of Infrastructure ministers.
  • What's the connection between perception and parity?

    graph of public perception score vs glass walls score
    • How people feel about women in public life seems to have a relationship with what kinds of leadership positions women serve. Where the public feels women make good leaders in both public and private sectors and should have equal access to jobs and education, women are more likely to break glass walls and thus enter into a variety of government areas. Similarly, where the public does not necessarily think that women should have an equal role in life outside the home all the time, women tend to serve in socio-cultural sectors of government: health, education or women's ministries.
    • Sweden and Slovenia are excellent examples where positive attitudes towards women in public life results in more women leaders.
      • In Sweden, 85% of Swedes disagree or strongly disagree with the statement, “On the whole, men make better political leaders than women do". We see representation across ministry type in both countries including the Minister of Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström.
      • In Slovenia, 72.8% of Slovenians disagree or strongly disagree with the statement, “On the whole, men make better political leaders than women do". Women represent 28% of Basic Functions ministers, 50% of economy ministers, and 50% of infrastructure ministers.
      • Even though these numbers are very positive, there is still an opportunity for improvement in the ministries that women hold: an opportunity to break the glass walls. In both Sweden and Slovenia, women are still over represented in Socio-Cultural ministers (75% in both countries) but underrepresented in basic functions like economy and infrastructure ministries. On average, women make up 19.6% of basic function ministers, 18.3% of economy ministers, 21.4% of infrastructure ministers, and 38.4% of socio-cultural ministers. How do we get more women ministers in every sector of government?

    Are there more women at the national or subnational level of government?

    graph of % women local participation vs % women in national parliaments
    • With the data currently available, we do not see a statistically significant relationship between mayors and heads of state.
    • We do see a strong, positive, and statistically significant relationship between women in municipal councils and parliaments, as well as regional assemblies and parliaments. While this data set is limited to countries that make this available, we need to understand better where women get their feet in the door to better understand how to get them to leadership positions.
    • From the limited sample of data, we see that on average women make up 29% of regional assemblies and 27% of municipal councils at the subnational level. We see slightly less representation in national legislatures with women making up 21% of lower houses and 23% of upper houses. The gap exists. From this data we can tell that there are more women at the subnational level. How do we get women in all levels?