The International Women’s Forum’s 2017 global ranking of gender equality was released on Tuesday and revealed Australia was the most welcoming nation.
While the top-ranked countries are New Zealand, Japan, Switzerland and Norway, the other three countries have a far greater percentage of men than women in top positions in their governments.
The top-rated countries were New Zealand (22.8%), Japan (19.7%), and Switzerland (17.4%).
Switzerland, which ranked third in the world last year, is the most open to women’s leadership.
Women account for just 9.5% of the population and only 0.7% of its senior executives.
The United States ranks number nine, with more than 11% of all executives and top officials male.
Australia, which was ranked fourth in the list, has a high proportion of men in its top management.
In 2016, 27.5 per cent of Australia’s executive and top executives were men, compared to the average of 19.9 per cent for the rest of the world.
Australia’s high percentage of male CEOs is also reflected in the fact that it ranks second in the number of women in senior management positions.
The US had only six women among its 500,000-plus executive and senior management officials in 2016.
However, while Australia has a low proportion of women at the top of government, it has one of the lowest rates of women entering the private sector in the developed world.
A higher proportion of male government officials in Australia than any other country is reflected in a high number of female ministers.
Of all senior government officials, more than half (52.9%) are women.
Australia has the highest proportion of female Cabinet ministers, with 26.6 per cent, compared with 19.7 per cent in the UK, 21.5 in the US, and 19.2 per cent on the European continent.
In the past five years, the proportion of all Australian Cabinet ministers to be women has increased from 9.9% to 15.2%.
The top 10 countries that have the highest percentage of female officials are:Australia (30.4%), New Zealand (+18.3%), the US (+18%), Switzerland (+15.3%)France (+10.9%), the UK (+8.9%).
The US ranked third on the list and New Zealand was fourth.
Switzerland was ninth and France was tenth.
The number of top women’s leaders in the United States has increased over the past decade from 9 to 18.4 per cent since 2006.
In contrast, the UK has had an average of one female senior executive per year for the past seven years.