The glass-ceiling index

Wall Street’s glass ceiling cracked on March 1st, when Jane Fraser took charge of Citigroup, making it the first big American bank to be run by a woman. America has a relatively high share of women in management (41%) and on company boards (28%)—though it lags behind on parental leave and political representation—according to The Economist’s glass-ceiling index of female empowerment, which was updated just ahead of International Women’s Day today. Everywhere could do better. Just one in three managerial positions across the 37 OECD countries is held by a woman. Nordic countries do best. But even Sweden, in first place, has room for improvement: Swedish women earn 7.6% less than men, despite being better educated. The worst performer is South Korea. But there are positive signs, even in traditional laggards like Japan: Mori Yoshiro was replaced by Seiko Hashimoto, a woman, as chief of the Tokyo Olympics in February—after he complained that women talk too much.

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