The 5 key issues facing
women working in the G20

Statistics track the number of women working, their educational qualifications and salaries. But the data does not tell us the whole picture. It doesn't tell us how women feel, and how they fare day-to-day in the workplace. With a major drive to get more women into the workforce, the Thomson Reuters Foundation, supported by The Rockefeller Foundation, embarked on a global undertaking to shed light on this increasingly critical issue, asking women across the G20 countries to name the five key challenges they face at work. The findings make a compelling read.

Summary of our Findings

What are the top five challenges you face at work? We put the question to more than 9,500 women across the G20 countries in a survey conducted by international pollster Ipsos MORI. We found that work-life balance is the issue that concerns women most. This is followed by equal pay as women are increasingly aware that on a global scale they earn less than men working in the same jobs and are often denied the same job and career opportunities. Harassment in the workplace was the third most flagged issue. Our poll finds nearly one third of G20 women say they have been harassed at work but more than 60 percent do not report this.

But the poll also uncovers some positive trends. Women, particularly younger women in the so-called Millennial generation, are more upbeat when it comes to their role in the workplace. More younger women feel that they can have children without damaging their career and more are confident that they have the same chance of success as men in starting their own business.

The Stories

Can you have children and a career? G20 women tend to think so

Brazil tops the table with 74 percent of women saying they did not think having children would damage their career, followed by South Africa, Turkey, Indonesia and India.

Nearly one third of G20 women harassed at work but few speak out

Women in three G20 countries said harassment was the major issue facing them at work with Turkish women the most concerned.

Gender pay gap is top workplace concern for U.S. women

Overall, the poll conducted by Ipsos MORI found four in every 10 women listed equal pay among the most important workplace issues.

Turkish, Indian women tend to stay silent on unequal treatment

Women in Turkey and India face some of the greatest workplace inequities among the G20 nations but are least likely to speak out.

Juggling work and home most critical issue for G20 women, particularly in Asia

Women in Russia and four of five Asian countries in the G20 - South Korea, India, China and Japan - said it was the most challenging issue they faced in the workplace.

Millennial women more upbeat about their future in the workplace

The survey of more than 9,500 women in the G20 economies by polling firm Ipsos MORI found that millennial women share a distinctly more hopeful view about the workplace.

Findings by Country

Click a country on the map below to explore a summary of the key findings and see the polling results.

Questions We Asked

Click a question below to explore a summary of the key findings and see the polling results.

Men have better access to jobs than me?

Almost half of the women questioned, or 48 percent, said men had better access to jobs than they did while only 21 percent did not think this was the case. The poll found that women in Saudi Arabia in particular were concerned about equal access to jobs with 61 percent agreeing or strongly agreeing that men had an advantage.

I have access to the same types of business networks as men?

The poll found that 39 percent of women overall thought they had access to the same types of business networks as men while 24 percent disagreed. Women in Indonesia, Mexico and India were most confident of having the same access to business networks as men while the least confident women were in Japan, South Korea and Italy.

Men have better access to professional development and career growth opportunities than me?

Almost half of the women questioned, or 47 percent, said men did fare better when it came to professional development and career opportunities while 22 percent disagreed. Women in Italy, France and Indonesia were particularly concerned about the lack of level playing field when it came to career opportunities.

It’s as easy for me to start a business as it is for a man?

Over a third of women, or 38 percent, agreed or strongly agreed that it was as easy for them to set up a business as it was for a man while 26 percent did not think this was the case. Women in Mexico , Indonesia, Russia and Turkey were the most confident on this question with more than half of the women polled in those countries agreeing that they had the same opportunities to set up a business as a man.

I am confident that I earn at least the same salary as a man doing the same?

Only four in every 10 women polled, 40 percent, were confident that they were earning the same salary as a man doing the same job. Women in Japan, Germany and France were the least confident that they were paid equally to men. Women in India and Saudi Arabia were most confident about earning the same as their male peers even though World Economic Forum data showed these 2 countries came last in the G20 on a female to male ratio on earned income.

I can have a family without it damaging my career?

Nearly half of the women polled, or 47 percent, said they could have children without damaging their career while 23 percent disagreed. The women most confident about having a family alongside a career were in Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa while those who were least confident were in Japan, Germany and Britain.