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Using data to tackle diversity

In Denmark, a first of its kind barometer, charts the employment inequalities between men and women.


Denmark prides itself on being a beacon of equality, but an eye-opening study on the country’s labour market highlighted the need for urgent action on gender equality. Find out more about one of this year’s stories that made a real impact.


They say a picture paints a thousand words, and that's exactly the case with Deloitte Denmark's Diversity Barometer.

Pulling on data from three million people, it charts the employment inequalities between men and women in the country.

A first of its kind, the barometer was the brainchild of gender equality thinktank EQUALIS, which wanted to benchmark and monitor where the country stood in relation to equity in the workplace.

While there were already studies focusing on isolated aspects of inequality, such as pay and progression, there was no single view across all the milestones that make up a person's work life.

Shedding a light on diversity

EQUALIS teamed up with Deloitte Denmark and some of the country’s leading gender researchers to identify 22 diversity indicators across five key themes. These were career and education, working environment, labour market attachment, responsibility and management, and income and assets.

Deloitte Denmark's team of economists and statisticians then devised a methodology to give each one a score between minus five and five, creating a comprehensive barometer. And the results were unexpected.

"It actually surprised us how skewed things were. Here in Copenhagen, and in our profession, we think we have quite equal opportunities, but delving into the figures you can see there is a lot of inequality."

Majbritt Skov

Partner and Head of Economics, Deloitte Denmark

Disrupting the status quo

Despite consistently scoring highly on international comparative rankings regarding gender equality, the figures flagged up by the Diversity Barometer show that Denmark still has a long way to go. In 2022 the country had ranked second in the European Institute for Gender Equality’s, Gender Equality Index.

The data showed that women were more likely to care for children than men and struggled more with stress and illness. Meanwhile, men were better represented in management roles and academia, while a man's net worth was typically significantly higher than a woman's. And, after just the first year of work, men’s earnings start to progress faster than women.

"That was interesting because the theory has been that it was because of fewer women in management and leadership roles. But we could actually see the trend emerging quite early on in careers,” Majbritt says.

Data-backed decisions

The barometer, which was launched only three months after EQUALIS approached Deloitte, is already having a lasting legacy, regularly being cited during gender equality debates.

“You can't argue with the numbers,” Majbritt says. “So now, it’s possible to focus on how to change things, and where the effort is needed the most.”

The barometer and report will be updated yearly ahead of International Women’s Day in March to show progress or hold a spotlight up to stagnating areas.

Majbritt adds, “It has been really amazing for the team to be a part of this because the barometer has been so well received by the public and proven its potential to qualify dialogues and decisions about gender diversity at the central and local level.

“Now we can reference data in the debate about equality in our society. That makes me really proud."


Read the Diversity Barometer report here

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