Which nations are best for championing women in STEM?

Iceland is nearing equal representation in STEM roles
Iceland is nearing equal representation in STEM roles, with women occupying 45% of these positions, and also has the highest average female salary

Across the globe, women account for a relatively small proportion of the STEM workforce. 

Previous research from The World Bank found women hold around 28% of all jobs in computer and mathematical occupations, and just 15.9% of engineering and architecture roles. 

In a similar vein, women make up around 25% of the STEM workforce in the UK, according to STEM Women

There are disparities when it comes to pay, too. Various studies have shown the gender wage gap in STEM professions to stand at more than US$25,000. 

It begs the question as to which countries are leading the way when it comes to closing that gap and championing women in the STEM field.

The US has one of the highest average female salaries

In a bid to find out, CloudZero examined 38 OECD nations to uncover the percentage of women in STEM roles and education, as well as the opportunities available to them.

The software developer also looked at the gender wage gap and average female salary, before using all these metrics to determine the best countries for women to start a career in STEM. 

Iceland close to equal representation in STEM

Iceland, which is already recognised for its unrivalled commitment to achieving gender equality across various aspects of life, is once again heralded by CloudZero as a shining example in the context of supporting women in STEM.

The table-topping Nordic nation is nearing equal representation in STEM roles, with women occupying 45% of these positions. Only Lithuania has a higher proportion (49%). 

Iceland can also boast the highest average female salary across all job roles (US$79,473), while the percentage of female STEM graduates stands at 35%. 

Earlier this year, the World Economic Forum's latest Global Gender Gap Report concluded Iceland was the most gender-equal country in the world for an astonishing 14th consecutive year.

The Netherlands has the highest number of STEM roles available per 1,000 female workers

Meanwhile, the Netherlands ranks second in CloudZero’s rankings, largely thanks to the fact it has by far the highest number of STEM roles available per 1,000 female workers (13). 

The US also performs well thanks to it having one of the highest average female salaries (US$77,463), although this might reflect the country’s high GDP per capita. 

In fact, the US’ gender wage gap (17%) is the largest of all the top 10 countries, revealing a need for further efforts to achieve equality in the workplace. 

Fourth-place Belgium has the lowest gender wage gap at just 1%.

The remainder of the top 10, taking into account all metrics, is as follows:

  • Denmark
  • Sweden
  • Italy
  • Poland
  • France
  • Luxembourg

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