The Index was launched at the Women Leaders Global Forum, held in Iceland 26- 28 November, 2018. The 2018 Forum witnessed the launch of the Reykjavik Index. The index measures how people feel about women in power, it subsequently went on to be selected #BestofDavos at this year’s World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos.
This year, Michelle Harrison, Global CEO of Public Division at Kantar, presented updated findings on the perceptions around women leadership not only in the G7 nations of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the USA, but also in Brazil, China, India and Russia.
The Index measures the perceived legitimacy of women or men in positions of leadership in politics and professions. Government/politics, Entertainment/media and Tech/AI shape our perceptions of gender and the findings from the Index are instructive. The 2019 Reykjavik Index for Leadership for the G7 is 73. Canada and France have the highest Reykjavik Index (77), followed by the USA (75) and the UK (73). Italy has the lowest Reykjavik Index (68), followed by Germany (69) and Japan (70).
At country level, the Indices for Canada, France and the USA are similar in 2019 and 2018. However, the UK’s Reykjavik Index has fallen four points from 77 in 2018 to 73 in 2019, meaning that the UK has dropped from first place in the G7 in 2018 to fourth place in 2019.
Japan, Germany and Italy sit in fifth, sixth and seventh places respectively in both 2019 and 2018. However, the Index for all three countries has
increased between 2018 and 2019, by three points for Japan and Germany, and by five points for Italy.
Among the additional countries studies for this report, India (67) and Brazil (66) have a relatively high Reykjavik Index for Leadership, while Russia (53)
and China (48) have a relatively low Index (Figure 3). The Indices for India and Brazil are broadly in line with those for the lower-scoring G7 countries (Italy 68, Germany 69 and Japan 70), while those for Russia and China are much lower.
Women are more likely to perceive men and women as equally suited to leading an organisation in all the 22 sectors covered in the 2019 survey – the proportion of women who think both are just as capable of taking the lead, is between seven and 12 percentage points higher than the proportion of men.