January 13, 2020

Women still missing from top ranks of business, politics and law

By Laura Hughes

Men still dominate the most senior roles in public life and the UK is “generations away” from achieving gender equality, according to a report published on Monday. The 2020 Sex and Power Index compiled by the Fawcett Society, a charity campaigning for gender equality, showed that women are missing from the top ranks of business, politics and law. The index also highlighted an “alarming lack of women of colour” in senior positions and what it lamented as a “dismally slow” pace of change. “Despite much lip service about the importance of having women in top jobs, today’s data shows we are still generations away from achieving anything close to equality,” said Sam Smethers, chief executive of the Fawcett Society. “We are wasting women’s talent and skills.” The charity’s report found women account for just 6 per cent of the chief executives of FTSE 100 companies, none of whom is a female of colour. Just four women are national newspaper editors, which amounts to 21 per cent of the industry. Only 30 per cent of the prime minister Boris Johnson’s cabinet are female, compared with 47 per cent of Labour’s shadow cabinet. Just 35 per cent of permanent secretaries in the civil service are women and no females of colour hold the role. In the House of Commons, and following the December general election, 34 per cent of MPs are women: an increase of 2 per cent compared with the last parliament.