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Expand chart

Sweden, Iceland, Finland and Norway take the top spots as the best countries for working women, according to The Economist's latest glass-ceiling index released on Thursday.

Details: The U.S. ranked at No. 18 out of 29, earning less than the average overall score of 60. Sweden came in at No. 1 with more than 80 points.

  • The U.S. received low marks as the only country in the ranking that does not offer paid leave for mothers.
  • It also had a low score in political representation, with women holding only 27.5% of seats in the House of Representatives.
  • The country placed in the top 5 countries with the highest gender wage gap — women earn 18.5% less than men

But, but, but: The U.S. had higher scores for women in management and on company boards— women hold 40.7% of managerial positions and 28.2% of board seats.

  • It also scored above average in women taking GMAT exams— 37.6% are taken by women.

Context: The glass-ceiling index is a report released by The Economist that ranks conditions for working women across 29 countries.

Go deeper

Updated Mar 9, 2021 - Axios Events

Watch: The impact of COVID-19 on women of color

In recognition of International Women's Day, Axios hosted a News Shapers conversation about COVID-19's impact on women of color, featuring San Francisco Mayor London Breed and activist Brittany Packnett Cunningham, host of the "Undistracted" podcast.

Mayor London Breed discussed how the city of San Francisco prioritized addressing women's systemic inequalities in their pandemic response, highlighting disproportionate child care and educational responsibilities.

  • On supporting working parents: "We set up learning hubs so that when the schools did shut down, and there were a lot of working parents that needed to get to work...parents and mostly women could continue to work while their child was being cared for."
  • On addressing the rise of domestic violence during public health quarantines: "Domestic violence was a big challenge during this pandemic and the need for mostly women to have safe places to go...We had to make sure that there were resources readily available."

Brittany Packnett Cunningham unpacked the impact of the pandemic on Black women, citing new research on health effects.

  • On the psychological and physical impacts of structural racism during the pandemic: "Racial battle fatigue is real, especially in a pandemic. What this also means is that there is a physical effect. What we've seen in the Black community is that we've actually lost 2.7 years of life expectancy due to COVID."
  • On centering the voices of those most impacted by the crisis: "An intersectional lens on justice is the approach that we have to take...Black women, Indigenous women, Latinos, and women of color who are suffering disproportionately from both the racial strife of this time and the sexist strife of this time should be at the center of [political] decision-making."

Thank you Bank of America for sponsoring this event.

Cuomo: "I am not going to resign"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo apologized Wednesday for acting in a way that made women feel "uncomfortable," but insisted that he has "never touched anyone inappropriately" and said he will not resign.

Driving the news: Cuomo reiterated in his first public appearance since sexual harassment allegations surfaced that he will fully cooperate with a team of independent investigators appointed by New York Attorney General Letitia James, but suggested that demands for his resignation from were simply "politics."

Updated 55 mins ago - World

UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss. Photo: Gints Ivuskans / AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary on Saturday night said the government has "information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

Driving the news: U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne called the intelligence "deeply concerning" in a statement to Axios. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.