According to international rankings, Sweden is one of the most gender-equal countries in the world. Nevertheless, there are significant differences between men and women in terms of education, work, health and economic power. Why is that? What can be done to reduce these differences? And what will be the impact of digitalization and demographic changes on gender equality in the future?
This series will serve as a forum where people from academia, industry, public administration and other important stakeholders gather to exchange knowledge and experiences on issues related to gender equality. The aim is to highlight areas where gender equality is currently lacking or is likely to be lacking in the long term. We will discuss how policy proposals and various social changes have affected or may affect gender equality. The seminar series begins in the fall of 2021 and will run for three years. Within the framework of this series, a number of research reports will be published.
This seminar series is carried out in collaboration with the Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI) at Stockholm University. The research carried out at SOFI concerns social policy, welfare, inequality and labor market. This collaboration offers the series a direct link to current research while also facilitating interactions with Swedish and international researchers and experts on gender equality.
Children: Do They Hinder Women’s Careers? 2021.10.17
Children: Do They Hinder Women’s Careers? (In Swedish) 2021.10.18
An advisory panel is linked to the series, consisting of decision-makers, experts and individuals in various ways working with gender equality issues.
SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN IN TERMS OF EDUCATION, WORK AND HEALTH
For the past two decades, girls have performed better than boys in Swedish schools. The proportion of women going on to study at university is higher compared to men in all Nordic countries. In addition, gender differences remain when it comes to the choice of education.
In Sweden, women on average earn about 89 percent of what men earn. These differences are also noticeable when it comes to pensions. Furthermore, there are also considerably fewer women than men with really high incomes.
Full-time work is considerably more common among men compared to women, while women also exhibit higher levels of sick leave. With regard to mental health, women go on sick leave 30 percent more frequently than men, despite exhibiting the same ability to work.
Digitalization will continue to have an impact on society, not least altering which occupations and skills are demanded in the labor market. Considering the wide gender gap in choice of education and occupation, technological developments may have a major impact on gender equality in the future labor market.
Today, one in four Swedish business owners is a woman. This is a low proportion from a European perspective, where Sweden ranks well below the EU average. Innovations and startups, regardless of their future size, require an initial investment; however, only a very small portion of Swedish venture capital is currently invested in companies founded by women.
In recent decades, the population in the Nordic countries has grown, just as in the rest of the world. The Swedish population growth is largely the result of immigration. Between 2000 and 2020, the proportion of individuals born outside of Sweden has risen from 11.3 to 19.7 percent. The countries of origin and the causes for emigrating have varied over time, as has the level of education and age and gender composition of the various immigrant groups.
Sweden’s aging population is another demographic change that, among other things, entails an increased need for health care and elderly care. This puts pressure on health care and care services while also increasing the need for workers in this sector, occupations where women are currently over-represented.