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06.03.23 | Statistik
More women than men in the Nordics get a higher education – but the gender pay gap persists. One reason is that men and women make educational choices based on gender stereotypes and they go on to work in different sectors. More women study health and care, while more men take up technical studies. Getting more women into STEM education (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) is a gender equality policy objective in all Nordic countries.

Educational attainment

More women than men graduate from tertiary education in the Nordics. Educational levels are generally high, with over a third of the population having completed a form of higher education. However, women’s attainments in education are not fully translated into equality in the labour market. The Nordics are grappling with a gender pay gap and high occupational segregation. These inequalities are even reflected in gendered patterns in academic majors and disciplines.   

Graduated from STEM-education

There are more and more women graduating from STEM education (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) in the Nordics. Women currently account for one third of graduates. Yet these subjects are still predominantly taken up by men. The lack of gender balance in STEM education is linked to high occupational segregation in the labour market. 

Early leavers from education

There are more men than women leaving education early in the Nordics, as in the EU at large. Dropping out has implications for young women and men’s labour market prospects and their risk of social exclusion. There is no single explanation, but mental health issues among young people and constricting gender stereotypes for young men have been linked to the higher rates of men leaving education early.