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Swiss still need more women managers

Jeannine Pilloud of the Swiss Federal Railways is one of Switzerland's top female managers Keystone

The gap between men and women may be slowly improving in Switzerland – it has moved up one place in the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s gender gap list – but there are still too few women in top management positions.

Iceland, Finland and Norway have the most gender equality, according to the WEF ranking of 136 nations, based on political participation, economic equality and rights like education and health. Yemen was at the bottom.

Switzerland moved up to ninth place from tenth last year, mainly as a result of increases in women’s salaries, the Geneva-based WEF said on Friday.

Overall the world’s gender gap narrowed slightly in 2013, the WEF said. The top ten rankings were dominated by northern European countries, but also included the Philippines, New Zealand and Nicaragua. Switzerland’s neighbours came further down the list, with Germany in 14th place, France in 45th and Italy in 71st place. The United states came in at 23rd.

The WEF also saw improvements in education for women and well as in their political participation in Switzerland.

But the country should not rest on its laurels, it warned, as it is lagging behind in terms of women in management positions.

“Only 43 per cent of management and top civil servant posts are filled by women,” WEF economist Margareta Drzeniek Hanouz told Swiss public radio.

1. Iceland

2. Finland

3. Norway

4. Sweden

5. Philippines

6. Ireland

7. New Zealand

8. Denmark

9. Switzerland

10. Nicaragua

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR