Report charts ‘glacial pace of change’ for women

A new report from the Fawcett Society shows men are twice as likely to be in positions of power as women.

Women on boards - women at the head of a boardoom


The pace of change on gender representation at work is glacial in the majority of sectors and shows that women are outnumbered by men 2:1 in positions of power, according to a report from the Fawcett Society.

The Sex and Power 2022 report also shows women of colour are vastly under-represented at the highest levels of many sectors and are missing altogether from senior roles such as Supreme Court Justices, Metro Mayors, Police and Crime Commissioners and FTSE 100 CEOs.

The study shows that:

  • Less than a third of the UK’s top jobs are filled by women. Across 5,166 positions of power in society, women make-up under a third (32%).
  • The last two Westminster elections have seen scant progress with the proportion of female MPs at 34%, following the 2019 election. 
  • Women remain just 8% of FTSE 100 CEOs and there are no women of colour.
  • The sporting sector not only has very few women in senior roles, but there has been a progressive decline in the number of female sport governing body chairs (15%) and CEOs (19%).
  • Women account for just 34% of those serving on the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and related subgroups advising the Cabinet on the coronavirus response.

The report calls for change from Government, political parties and businesses. It wants to see targets set to increase the number of women in positions of power and actions plans put in place to ensure they are met; improved pay gap reporting – which includes intersectional ethnicity pay gap reporting, the threshold for reporting reduced to employers with 100+ employees and publication of mandatory action plans; flexible working as default for all jobs possible; and action plans set up by co-ordinating bodies in sectors where women of colour are missing from the top.


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