Positions of power in every sector of society are dominated by men, according to new research.
Through its new Sex and Power Index, the Fawcett Society has revealed the extent of male-dominated power positions in 2018.
The Index reveals that women make up just six per cent of FTSE 100 CEOs; 16.7 per cent of Supreme Court Justices; 17.6 per cent of national newspaper editors; 26 per cent of cabinet ministers; and 32 per cent of MPs.
Where there is data available, the Index shows that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) women, or disabled women, are even less likely to be represented.
BAME women make up approximately seven per cent of the UK’s total population – but just four per cent of MPs. There are only two MPs in the Commons who identify as disabled people. Shockingly, there are no BAME women at the top of FTSE 100 organisations.
On the eve of the unveiling of the first statue of a woman in Parliament Square – Millicent Fawcett – campaigners are calling for practical solutions, including the use of quotas, to speed up change and overcome persistent barriers to progress.
Sam Smethers, Chief Executive of the Fawcett Society, said, “When we see this data brought together it is both shocking and stark – despite some prominent women leaders, men haven’t let go of the reins of power and progress is painfully slow.”
“Equality won’t happen on its own.”
“We have to make happen.”
“That is why are we calling for time-limited use of quotas and making all jobs flexible by default.”
“As we mark 100 years of the first women getting the vote by putting the first woman in Parliament Square it is no coincidence that male-dominated decision-making has to date commemorated so few of the great women in our history.”
“We have to correct this imbalance for future generations and we have to ensure that women today can overcome those persistent structural barriers which hold all of us back.”
“This moment in our history is not about yesterday, it’s about tomorrow.”
Feminist campaigner and journalist, Caroline Criado Perez OBE added, “If Millicent Fawcett were alive today, I wonder what she’d think about how far we’ve come.”
“The past hundred years for women have been momentous and have left us more liberated than ever before – at least in law.”
“But equality on paper isn’t the same as equality in real life – and as the dismal figures outlined in this report reveal, we still have a long way to go here.”
“If we are ever to get to our final destination, we have to stop pretending that the path to true equality is out of our hands.”
“To get to where we are today, we’ve had to fight every step of the way.”
“And we have to carry on fighting now.”