5 best cities for career-driven women


According to the World Economic Forum’s 2015 Global Gender Gap Index, Iceland is the best country in the world for women in terms of offering fair wages (not quite equal pay, but getting there faster than everywhere else). But how does the rest of the world fare?

1. Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm Sweden
Image: Thomas Fabian/Flickr Creative Commons

Sweden ranked fourth best for pay equality and is actively taking steps to close that pay gap even further. Stockholm is buzzing with start-ups and digital ventures which make this a great setting for those with a business or new media focus.

Living in this Ikea wonderland will give you a taste of more than just enchanting Swedish nature and those famous meatballs (köttbullar): Life in Stockholm will put you at the heart of northern Europe’s contemporary fashion and music scenes. Oh, and Alexander Skarsgård is from Sweden. That’s obviously worth mentioning.

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2. Toronto, Canada

Toronto Canada
Image: Robert/Flickr Creative Commons

While Canada didn’t rank impressively on the the pay gap front, there are other reasons to include this beautiful city on the list. According to the Glass-Ceiling Index published by The Economist in 2013 — a report which details where women have the best chance of equal treatment in the workplace — Canada ranked high in the best places to live for working women.

For ladies in the tech and software sectors or for those with an entrepreneurial spirit, Toronto is a hot spot for start-ups and new business ventures. For ladder climbers in the film and fashion industries, Toronto’s creative playground is comparable to Hollywood.

3. Dublin, Ireland

Dublin Ireland
Image: Dronepicr/Flickr Creative Commons

Ireland ranks fifth on WEF’s Global Gender Gap Index. While it doesn’t offer the international melting pot London does, it’s substantially more affordable and is a sprawling, diverse city where any career is possible.

In addition to being a major media market and home to the country’s most influential publications, Dublin holds Google’s European headquarters and is the hub of Ireland’s engineering sector. Another plus: There is always a pint of Guinness within walking distance.

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4. Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland New Zealand
Image: Geof Wilson/Flickr Creative Commons

Not only an Instagram-worthy and geographically incredible place to visit, New Zealand offers a promising long-term future for professional women and a nearly unbeatable quality of life. New Zealand was listed the fourth happiest place in the world to live by Forbes. But it’s not only the perfect setting for happy vibes. According to The Economist, women are treated most equally in the New Zealand workplace in terms of overall employment, level of education, a narrower male-female pay gap and the number of women in senior positions.

Auckland is New Zealand’s most urban city and is rich with job opportunities. The city is abundant with international companies to start the next chapter of your career.

5. Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich Switzerland
Image: Pedro Szekely/Flickr Creative Commons

Imagine spending your off-duty time in the Alps or taking a casual day trip to northern Italy. Switzerland is located in the heart of Europe and offers all its inhabitants a prime taste of European life, but what about professional life? Switzerland ranked the eighth best country for women in the Global Gender Gap Index. For female leaders in the finance, life science and biotechnology industries, Zurich is a lucrative city in which to advance your dream career.

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