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Sex and Power

A snail's progress
A snail could crawl the entire length of the Great Wall of China in 212 years, just slightly longer than the 200 years it will take for women to be equally represented in Parliament.


Five years on from the first Sex and Power report, the Commission publishes its first survey on women in positions of power and influence. There is also a Scottish specific piece of research.

Part of the Commission’s Working Better project, the Sex and Power report reveals women hold just 11 per cent of FTSE 100 directorships and only 19.3 per cent of the positions in Parliament.

This year, there are fewer women holding top posts in 12 of the 25 categories for which figures are available. In another five categories, the number of women remains unchanged since 2007’s index. Women’s representation has increased in just eight areas.

The report traditionally estimates the number of years it will take for women to achieve equality in key areas at the present rate of progress. This year’s report indicates it will now take 15 years longer (55 years in total) for women to achieve equal status at senior levels in the judiciary, and women directors in FTSE 100 companies could be waiting eight years longer (73 years in total).

If women were to achieve equal representation among Britain’s 31,000 top positions of power, the Commission estimates nearly 5700 ‘missing’ women would rise through the ranks to positions of real influence

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