The video outlines the top countries for working women, and our neighbor to the north is No. 10. Drawing on data from The Economist's recently published fifth annual "glass ceiling index," the clip also highlights the specific policies that make the nations so female-friendly.
In Canada for example, women hold more than a quarter of parliamentary seats, while Iceland is the first country to make it illegal to pay men more than women. Hungary boasts childcare costs that are a mere fraction of the average wage.
The index aggregates data on higher education, workforce participation, compensation, child-care costs, maternity and paternity rights, as well as business-school appplications and representation in leadership and government roles in order to pinpoint "where women have the best — and worst — chances of equal treatment in the workplace." Nordic countries are the clear leaders in gender equality, while Japan, Turkey and North Korea make up the other end of the spectrum.
The United States, ranked at number 20 of the 29 countries on the index, isn't featured in the video. It's also important, if depressing, to note that the trend of improving conditions for working women is stagnating in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a group of countries (including the U.S, Canada, U.K., and much of Europe) whose mission is to "improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world."
The good news is American women can take matters into their own hands. Here are our tips:
Ask for a raise — and do it like a man. Research shows that women are more reluctant than men to strike up the salary-increase conversation. We get it — it's not the most comfortable thing to talk about but, with a little strategic preparation, you can negotiate with confidence and increase the chances you'll get what you deserve.
Go for that leadership role. If you think you've earned a raise, you might also be worthy of a promotion. Make sure you're taking the right steps to get ahead and, when the time is right, talk to your boss about a title change.
Negotiate your work location and hours. In the face of inadequate parental leave and/or unaffordable childcare, a flexible schedule and the freedom to work from home can be your best bet.
Bring your kids to work with you once in a while. This one might not make much a difference in your daily reality but it could help contribute to positive change for women over time, since research suggests that exposing both young boys and girls to women engaged in a variety of professional pursuits helps promote greater gender parity both in the workplace and at home.