John's index: gender inequality in Russian politics and business

Plenary meeting of the State Duma of Russia. Photo: Dmitry Dukhanin / Businessman

The US seeks to reduce gender inequality. However, in politics and business, the gap remains large. Among the leaders of companies included in the list of the largest US corporations Fortune 500, the proportion of women is only 5%.

With what it is possible to compare? Approximately the same number of leaders, for example, are men who bear the name John or James. New York Times was the “Glass Ceiling Index”, which correlated the number of women among leaders in different spheres and men with common names. For example, among the directors of the highest grossing films of 2017, women were only 7% – fewer than men with the names James and Michael. Among the senators from the Republican Party – 12%, among the governors of the Democratic Party – 13% (in both cases less than men named John).

The share of women is small among the largest venture investors. Quite low (less than 25%) among heads of private colleges and editors of the most mass newspapers. A little higher (up to 30%) among federal judges. Holders of only a few male names in these categories may be much more.

We took the New York approach as the basis Times and made up the “Index of the glass ceiling” in Russia.

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