European women are at a disadvantage in the workplace. This was the stark conclusion cited by a recent Time Magazine cover story. Even if Europe had a high proportion of women in the workforce, the ratio of women in management roles is very low—at least outside of the UK. This was attributed to an “old boys’ club” mentality among European companies, where business moguls, who are usually male, dominated the business arena, and each sat on each others’ companies’ directorial boards.
It is said that companies favor men because they are more likely to put in more hours at work, and are not likely to have complications when it comes to family life, such as pregnancy and child-rearing (most countries allow for paid pregnancy leaves up to three years). Add to this European countries’ laws favoring single-income households. Families with two working parents are usually taxed the highest bracket. It’s said these practices are aimed at keeping women working in the household!