As a woman in business if you want equality in the workplace you better move to one of the Nordic countries, or surprisingly New Zealand, and you would do well to steer clear of France. The information comes from a report by the World Economic Forum which assesses life expectancy, salaries, access to high-skilled jobs, access to basic and higher level education, and whether women were represented in government and decision-making structures. Iceland came first with Norway, Finland and Sweden in the next three places and New Zealand fifth, the UK and the US ranked in the top 20. France however, dropped to 46th and it seems that even though the amount of state-funded support available to women in France is more comprehensive, so are the demands to be the perfect woman. A report in the New York Times picked up on the story reporting that ‘eighty-two percent of French women aged 25-49 work, many of them full-time, but 82 percent of parliamentary seats are occupied by men. French women earn 26 percent less than men but spend twice as much time on domestic tasks. They have the most babies in Europe, but are also the biggest consumers of anti-depressants.’ “French women are exhausted,” said Valérie Toranian, editor-in-chief of Elle magazine in France. “We have the right to do what men do — as long as we also take care of the children, cook a delicious dinner and look immaculate. We have to be superwoman.” Having children in multiples is certainly encouraged by the French government – by the time a woman reaches child number four she will be paying virtually no tax due to the monthly benefits and tax deductions she receives. Add to that the provision of free all day nurseries that guarantee a place for a child from 3 years and 99 percent of French children attend whilst their mothers return to work. She shouldn’t expect a management or leadership role though, in one hospital where the majority of medical graduates are female all 11 heads of department are male. Even political parties – who since 1998 by law have been obliged to have an equal number of men and women candidates on their party lists – would rather pay a fine than comply. So if you want to work abroad head for the Nordics, Kazakhstan, Jamaica or Lesotho, all of which outperformed France.