When it comes to gender equality, the UK is the 26th-best country in the world, below Rwanda, Nicaragua, Burundi, South Africa, the US and Moldova, a report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) shows.
The UK's position has fallen from ninth, when the Global Gender Gap Report was launched in 2006, which the report attributed to changes in income estimates. It has also slipped from first place to 33rd when it comes to educational attainment, and from 37th to 46th when it comes to economic participation.
Although 12 European countries occupy the top 20, that's one less than last year, while both Germany and France climbed to 12th place and 16th place respectively. The report said France's leap was mostly down to an increase in the number of women in politics – 49 per cent of the country's ministers are now women, one of the highest ratios in the world.
But there was good news: overall, the gender gap has closed four per cent, from 56 per cent in 2006 to 60 per cent today. Which means that although gender equality in the workplace is achievable, it's likely we will have to wait until 2095 until it happens.
The report also indicated a correlation between gender equality and economic success, pointing out companies which recruit and retain women and ensure they attain leadership positions tend to outperform those that do not. Klaus Schwab, the WEF's founder and executive chairman:
Only those economies who have full access to all their talent will remain competitive and will prosper. But even more important, gender equality is a matter of justice. As a humanity, we also have the obligation to ensure a balanced set of values.