The Reykjavík Index for Leadership


The Reykjavík Index for Leadership measures how people feel about women in power. It measures the perceived legitimacy of male and female leadership in politics and across twenty professions, as well as how men and women differ in their views, and the extent to which men and women are viewed equally in terms of suitability of individuals for positions of power.

The Index evaluates the G7 group of nations and 20 different industries and public professions, surveying the attitudes of more than 10,000 people.

The average Reykjavík Index for Leadership score for the G7 in launch year is 66, with the findings showing two groupings of countries: the UK, France, Canada and USA with ‘higher’ indices and a group of three that are a step change below: Japan, Germany and Italy.

Seeing the Index presented for the first time at the Reykjavík Global Forum was fascinating. We finally have an effective tool measuring how people really feel about women in leadership positions.

Ann Cairns, Vice Chairman of Mastercard
image description
image description

The Reykjavík Index for Leadership shows that women in the G7 are more likely than men are to view women and men as equally suitable for leadership roles. It echoes the historic opportunity facing women to stand out and shape the future of mankind in the digital era. This dissonance is something we need to work on to drive the change towards parity.

Diane Wang, CEO of DHGate

The Reykjavík Index sheds a light on the gender gap in leadership and on the gender stereotypes that hold us back; individually, societally and economically. Gender equality doesn’t happen by chance, we need to take action towards it. Governments and businesses can lead the way.

Katrin Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister of Iceland
image description
image description

Across the G7, there are wide disparities in how women and men view the suitability of women for leadership roles. As disheartening as this is, I am encouraged by tools such as the Reykjavík Index for Leadership which help us identify the countries and sectors where the equality challenges are the greatest. By measuring the challenges, we are better equipped to develop meaningful solutions to close the equality gap.

Michele Parmelee, Global Chief Talent Officer of Deloitte

It is great to see an Index documenting everyday beliefs and behaviours related to leadership in the G7 countries. I am looking forward to seeing the findings about the perception of women leaders also in Spain.

Pedro Sanchez, Prime Minister of Spain
image description
image description

The Reykjavík Index for Leadership will help us monitor the very real but often invisible barriers and obstacles that women face in breaking the glass ceiling. By measuring perceptions over time, the index will help us assess and understand the social norms that limit women’s access to positions of leadership and power.

Rebeca Grynspan, Head of the Ibero-American Secretariat

It is our goal to reach Index scores of 100 – an indication that there is complete agreement that men and women are equally suited to leadership across the economy, and a tangible sign of progress towards equality at work, at home and in society. We believe the Reykjavík Index for Leadership will support the endeavours to get there.

Silvana Koch-Mehrin, President and Founder of Women Political Leaders
image description
image description

The Reykjavík Index for Leadership is the first of its kind, both to understand the progress we are making in terms of the perceptions of the suitability of men and women for positions of leadership and power – and for how this is working across the private and public realm. We hope it will be a significant contribution in terms of understanding our current position and driving positive change for the future.

Dr Michelle Harrison, Global CEO, Public Division, Kantar and WPP Government Sector Practice


The Index measures the perceived legitimacy of women or men in positions of leadership in politics and professions. Within G7 countries, women score higher (67) on the Reykjavík Index for Leadership than men (61), therefore suggesting the G7 to be a better place for female leadership.

The Index was launched at the Reykjavík Global Forum, held in Iceland 26- 28 November, 2018. Women Political Leaders and Kantar will invite further discussion with political and business leaders on the Reykjavík Index for Leadership during Davos week in Switzerland.