The Netherlands drops three places on the "Global Gender Gap Index 2016"

Rotterdam, 26 October 2016 - The Netherlands has dropped three places on the Global Gender Gap Index, which is compiled annually by the World Economic Forum (WEF), according to the recently published "The Global Gender Gap Report 2016". Women's participation in the labour market is lower, they have a predominantly part-time job, earn considerably less and their share in managerial positions lags far behind.

The Global Gender Gap Index provides insight into gender inequality in 144 countries, looking at economic participation, access to education, political influence and health care/life expectancy. This eleventh edition of the report shows that the Netherlands has made no progress in the field of labour participation and income equality. Progress is also disappointing from a global perspective. In view of current developments, it may take up to 170 years before economic equality between the two sexes is achieved. The research institute INSCOPE Research for Innovation of Erasmus University Rotterdam, headed by Prof. Dr. Henk W. Volberda, is a partner institute of the World Economic Forum and collected the data for the Netherlands with its research team. The full report can be found in PDF format.

Main findings for the Netherlands:
The Netherlands has dropped three places and now occupies the 16th position. Only once before (in 2010) the Netherlands fell out of the top 15 (17th position). Only 76% of the inequality gap between men and women in the Netherlands has been closed.

  • Women in the Netherlands participate less in the labour process than men (74% women versus 85% men), have a predominantly part-time job (64% of the women versus 30% of the men), still earn considerably less (-52%), also in equivalent positions and their share in leadership positions is much lower (26% women versus 74% men).
  • In terms of educational participation, women do better than men in the Netherlands (+ 7% for higher education), but they are under-represented in technical STEM positions (6% of women compared to 26% of men). According to Henk Volberda, the over-representation of women in office and administrative jobs could "be a forerunner of a new swamp in the workplace". Disruptive technologies as part of the fourth industrial revolution (Internet of Things, Robotisation, Digitisation, 3D printing, Big Data) will have a disproportionately negative impact on the economic prospects of women compared to men.
  • The political influence of women in the Netherlands has remained the same; 37% of the seats in the second chamber and 47% of the ministerial posts are occupied by women.
  • There is no inequality in terms of access to health care and age expectation; women's life expectancy is 72 years and men's 70 years.

The Global Gap Top 20 Index 2016 
Like last year, the ranking is led by Iceland, followed by Finland, Norway, Sweden and Rwanda. Finland and Norway have changed positions, as well as Ireland (now 6th position) and Rwanda. The top 10 consists of the same countries as last year, with the exception of Switzerland which, like the Netherlands, has 3 places down. The biggest climber in the top 20 is Burundi, which is now in 12th place.

About the Global Gender Gap Index 2016:
Inequality between men and women inhibits economic growth and prevents countries from becoming more competitive. Given the urgency of closing the 'gender gap', the World Economic Forum (WEF) publishes an annual report in which countries are compared and it is made clear to what extent countries are making progress in reducing inequality between the two sexes in four aspects of inequality: (1) economic participation and opportunities; (2) access to education; (3) health care and life expectancy; and (4) political influence. The so-called 'Global Gender Gap Index', with the overall score, is central to this.

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More information

Global Gender Gap Index rapport; Henk Volberda (M) 06 1297 2233; (T) 010 408 2761; (E)

RSM; Marianne Schouten, Media & Public Relations Manager for RSM, via +31 10 408 2877 or