Workplace inequality persists in Sweden: study

As the world celebrates International Women's Day on March 8th a new report from Statistics Sweden indicates that the self-styled "most equal country in the world" still has some work to do.

Statistics Sweden (SCB) has compared the balance of equality according to gender in 355 professional categories in the years 2002 and 2007.

Little changed occurred over the course of the five year period. Only 72 of the professions were declared equal in 2007.

Neither has the stated goal of a gender balance among management personnel been achieved.

Only 5 of the 29 managerial categories included in the study showed a balanced picture. The study covered sectors including education, finance, administration and human resources.

In all operations – private, public, district and county council – the proportion of women bosses was lower than the proportion of women employed as a whole.

The division of managerial positions between men and women was on average 12 percent below that of the workforce as a whole.

There are however a very small number of examples of professions in Sweden that in 2002 were male dominated but by 2007 had attained gender equality. These include physicians, chemists and senior staff in interest organizations.

The police is one sector that has received praise recently for promoting gender equality in its ranks. Between 2002 and 2007 the police force increase its proportion of female officers by 7 percent, to 25 percent.