Gender inequality remains high in Switzerland

Women in a workplace meeting.

(23.03.2022) In Switzerland, further progress is needed to achieve gender equality in the workplace. The country ranks 14th in PwC's "Women in Work Index", which analyzes gender differences in 33 OECD economies.

The COVID-19 crisis has significantly hampered advances in gender equality in the workplace. The pandemic has driven 5.1 million women into unemployment in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. One of the reasons for this is that women had to engage in childcare and education at a time when schools and childcare facilities were shutting down.

In Switzerland, employment rates differ greatly according to gender. While 89% of men work full time, only 56% of women work 100%, placing the country second to last among OECD countries. However, 80% of women are in the workforce (3rd place in the OECD).

In terms of leadership, women make up just 26% of the top managers in the economy. This inequality is reflected in salary levels. The Swiss gender pay gap is 17%, compared to an OECD average of 14%. If not for this gap, Swiss women would be earning CHF 23 billion more per year. Should this trend continue at the same rate as in the OECD, it will take 63 years to close this gap.

Improving gender equality in the workplace would benefit the entire economy. Switzerland would increase its gross domestic product (GDP) by CHF 33 billion, or 6% if it had a similar employment rate for women as Sweden. For this to happen, the labor market must offer more flexibility to women who want it.


Last modification 23.03.2022

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