Increase in female leadership


The gender distribution among leaders is gradually levelling out. In 2019, 37 percent of all leaders were women. In 2008, this figure was 32 percent.

The general tendency is that there has been more equality between women and men in Norway since the indicators for gender equality in municipalities were first published 11 years ago. On almost all of the 12 indicators for gender equality, there has been a development towards more equality.

In 2019, as in previous years, the gender balance is highest on the indicator measures the ratio between the proportion of women and men in the labor force and indicator with the lowest gender balance is the one that measures the ratio between the proportion of men and women working part-time. 37 per cent of all women between the ages of 20 and 66 work part-time, which is more than twice as large as among men (15 per cent). This has not changed much since the indicators were first published in 2008.

For each indicator, a score between 0-1 is calculated. 0 indicates no equality and 1 indicates full equality. On the two indicators at each end of the scale, labor force and part-time, the score is 0.94 and 0.39, respectively. The table with basic figures tells us the proportions among women and men (see fact box for more on what is included in the statistics)

What is "Indicators for Gender Equality”?

The indicators for gender equality in the municipalities are a collection of relevant measures of the status of gender equality in Norway in total and distributed among all Norwegian counties and municipalities. There are many dimensions of gender equality, in which 12 quantitatively measurable conditions have been selected that can be measured over time.

The indicators for gender equality in the municipalities give us information about several dimensions of equality between women and men, and how this varies between municipalities and counties. The statistics also provide information on whether each municipality is developing towards a more or lesser degree of equality.

For each indicator that is included, the municipalities get a score that varies between 0 and 1. Municipalities that score 1 have what we call full equality on the relevant indicator or put another way; there is no gender difference. The score for each indicator thus says something about the distance to "full equality". 0 points means a maximum gender difference in the municipality on the relevant indicator, but there are virtually no municipalities that receive 0 or 1 on any indicators.

The calculated score only measures the extent to which there are differences between women and men and omits what describes a more general level of welfare, such as a high level of income or a high level of education among people within a municipality. The score does not give a general measure of "how good it is to live in a municipality", since it does not say anything about the actual level of, for example, income or education for either women or men.

Studying the indicators in connection with other dimensions of people's living conditions in the municipalities is a useful practice. Much of this can be found in the basic data on which the statistics are based ( These indicators provide more knowledge about the situation of women and men in individual municipalities.

Increased gender balance among leaders, decrease in gender balance on higher education-levels

The two indicators where the change has been greatest over time are the gender distribution among leaders and the ratio between the proportion of men and women with higher education, but the change is going in different directions.

Today, there is a far larger proportion of female managers in Norway than there was 11 years ago. In 2019, the average score for the whole country is 0.73 - which corresponds to 63 per cent male and 37 per cent female managers. In 2008, the score for comparison was 0.64. 68 percent of managers were men and 32 percent women. There has been a steady and gradual increase every year since.

In the ratio between the proportion of women and men with higher education, on the other hand, there have been greater differences between the sexes during this period. 39 per cent women and 30 per cent men had higher education in 2019. This gives a score of 0.77, which is the lowest since 2008. Even then, there was a larger proportion of women than men who had higher education, but then the difference was 3 percentage points, with 27 per cent among women and 24 per cent among men, respectively.

Figure 1. Selected indicators for gender equality. The whole country. 2008-2019. Scores

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
The relationship between women and men with higher education 0.87 0.86 0.84 0.83 0.82 0.81 0.82 0.81 0.80 0.79 0.79 0.78
The relationship between men and women's part-time work 0.38 0.39 0.41 0.39 0.40 0.40 0.41 0.44 0.40 0.38 0.39 0.39
Gender balance among leaders 0.64 0.66 0.68 0.69 0.70 0.71 0.72 0.70 0.71 0.72 0.73 0.74

Greater gender balance among leaders in all Norwegian counties

In some counties and municipalities there are major changes over time. In Sogn og Fjordane, for example, there has been a clear development in gender distribution among managers. In 2008, 67 per cent of the leaders were men, while in 2019 60 per cent were men, and thus 40 per cent women. Møre og Romsdal, Hordaland, Rogaland, Oppland and Østfold have also had an increasing gender balance among managers in the past 11 years. On the other side of the scale we have Finnmark and Telemark, where the development has been positive, but not nearly as large as the other counties mentioned.

However, change over time does not fully cover the gender equality situation on the given indicator in a given county. Despite the fact that Finnmark has had the least change over time, it is still about the same level as Sogn og Fjordane. 61 percent of the leaders in Finnmark in 2019 are men, and this has been relatively stable. At the very top in 2019 is Oslo, where the gender difference is smallest, with 59 per cent male and 41 per cent female leaders. At the bottom we find Vestfold, with 67 percent men and 33 percent women among the leaders.

1 Based on former municipal and county structure (1979-2019)

Figure 2. Share of women and men (20-66 years) among leaders, by county¹. 2019

Men Women
Østfold (-2019) 65.5 34.5
Akershus (-2019) 63.4 36.6
Oslo 58.9 41.1
Hedmark (-2019) 62.4 37.6
Oppland (-2019) 62.9 37.1
Buskerud (-2019) 65.1 34.9
Vestfold (-2019) 67.4 32.6
Telemark (-2019) 64.5 35.5
Aust-Agder (-2019) 65.2 34.8
Vest-Agder (-2019) 66.4 33.6
Rogaland 66.0 34.0
Hordaland (-2019) 63.6 36.4
Sogn og Fjordane (-2019) 60.0 40.0
Møre og Romsdal 65.1 34.9
Trøndelag 63.0 37.0
Nordland 60.0 40.0
Troms - Romsa (-2019) 60.7 39.3
Finnmark - Finnmárku (-2019) 61.0 39.0

Largest equalization of income differences in Agder

It is well known that men earn more than women, which can be illustrated in several ways. This publication use average gross income which is based on the annual tax reporting. In 2019, men had a gross income of NOK 169,900 more than women.

The income level is, among both women and men, highest in Akershus and Oslo. Among women, the variation in income is not so great between the counties, while among men the variations are greater. The fact that men have a higher total income than women is largely due to the fact that some men have high occupational incomes and that a few men have very large capital incomes, while there is less spread in occupational income and fewer who earn income on capital among women.

There is least difference between men's and women's income in Finnmark and Troms (with a score of 0.81 and 0.77, respectively). The small income differences are mainly due to the fact that men in the northernmost municipalities have lower income levels compared to men in other municipalities - this especially applies to Finnmark. In addition, the income level for women is slightly above the average for women in other counties, which helps to further reduce the differences. The biggest gender difference is Rogaland. Rogaland women are among those with the highest income compared to women in other counties, but at the same time Rogaland is one of the counties where men have the highest income in the country, and the gender difference is thus large.

We see the largest equalization in income differences between 2008 and 2019 in the two Agder counties, Aust-Agder and Vest-Agder. Although these two counties are still among the counties with the largest gender difference in gross income, the change in a positive direction has been great. In 2019, Aust-Agder scored 0.70 and Vest-Agder 0.67. In 2008, the scores were 0.61 and 0.58, respectively.

Stable gendered-segregated labour market

The gender-segregated labor market arises because women and men work in different occupations, industries and sectors, which is also related to the choice of field of education among young people.

In order to be able to say something about the gender-segregated labor market, and about what educational choices today's young people make, these statistics include indicators of gender distribution in the private and public sector, whether upper secondary school students choose traditional directions and degree of gender-balanced business structure.

These four indicators have been stable at the national level for the past 11 years. Oslo, and then Akershus, is most gender-balanced on all four. This is partly due to the fact that there are many different types of jobs and fields of education there. Counties that stand out at the other end of the scale are not as one-sided, but Sogn og Fjordane scores low on the gender balance in the private and public sector and together with Rogaland they also score the lowest on the degree of gender balance in the choice of education program in upper secondary school.

The degree of gender balance in the industries is measured based on the proportion of men and women within each industry on which an overall measure of the degree of gender balance is calculated. For example, the industry «health and social services» is dominated by women, and «building and construction activities» is dominated by men, regardless of which municipality we look at. However, the degree of female and male dominance varies between different regions, partly due to variations in which businesses are central in different places.

This will enable the municipalities to assess local business structures and gender equality as a whole. Oslo (0.75) and Akershus (0.65) score highest on this indicator. This indicates that there are smaller differences between women and men in which industries they work in than in, for example, Sogn og Fjordane and Møre og Romsdal, where the scores are 0.51 and 0.52 in 2019, respectively, where the difference is greatest.

3 out of 4 four fathers take full father quota

One of the indicators for gender equality is the proportion of fathers who take the full paternity quota or more of the parental leave. As of 2019, this indicator is based on a new data basis (see fact box), which provides new and better statistics on the proportion of fathers who use the father quota during the child's first three years of life.

In 2019, 62 per cent of all fathers (to children born in 2015 and 2016) had taken full father quota or more of the parental leave. The largest proportion of fathers with full withdrawals was in Akershus (68 per cent) and Oslo (63 per cent). At the opposite end of the scale, we find Aust-Agder and Vest-Agder, where about half of those who became fathers in 2015 and 2016 took full paternity leave or more of the parental leave.

Changes the data basis for the father quota

As of the publication in 2019, the data basis for the paternity quota indicator has changed, from FD-Trygd (Parental and Sickness Benefit Register) to the Parental Benefit Register. Both data bases originate from the Norwegian Labor and Welfare Administration (NAV).

This has implications for how the father quota indicator is interpreted over time. The indicator is of better quality from 2019 but must only be carefully compared with previous publications. The relatively large changes in the 2019 results are mainly due to the fact that when using new data, graduated parental benefits are taken into account, which was not possible previously. This has greater significance for the levels and less to say for differences between the municipalities.

Graduated parental benefits provide the opportunity to combine work with benefits. It is possible to have periods with and without grading during the leave period and parents can withdraw graduaded parental benefits at the same time as long as they do not exceed 100 percent in total. Because grading was not possible to take into account when using the parental and sickness benefit register, this resulted in an overestimation of the proportion of fathers with a full father quota or more. In the old register, only the number of days in its entirety was reported, but now we have the opportunity to separate the parents with a rating of 100 percent. When the grading is less than 100 percent, the number of days must be reduced accordingly. Those with graded withdrawals thus received more days earlier than they actually had.

In addition to this, the paternity quota indicator is calculated in the same way as before. The starting point is two years of births from the population register, which is linked to the number of days with parental benefits from NAV's parental benefits register. Based on this, the proportion of fathers who take out at least what they are entitled to according to the current regulations at the time of the child's birth is calculated.