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Research shows lack of women in top jobs

Research carried out and published by BBC News has revealed that less than one third of the most senior jobs in Britain are held by women. According to the findings, women occupy on average 30.9% of the most senior positions across 11 key sectors including the judiciary, policing, politics and business. The armed forces and judiciary have the lowest percentage of women holding senior positions (1.3% and 13.2% respectively). The highest proportion of women workers are found in secondary education, where they make up 36.7% of head teachers and also in public appointments, (appointments to boards of public bodies or government committees), where they hold 36.4% of the top roles.

The findings were announced just days after the European Commission’s public consultation on gender imbalance in corporate boards came to an end. The purpose of the consultation was to produce initiatives aimed at improving the gender balance on the Boards of companies listed on the stock exchanges. The measures to be put in place to address the imbalance are to be decided by the Commission later this year, and it is expected that mandatory quotas for both the public and private sectors will be introduced.

The UK government has written to the Commission, stating that it does not support the proposed introduction of mandatory quotas and that gender diversity is improving without the need for “burdensome regulation”. At present, almost 16% of directorships at the UK’s 100 largest listed companies are held by women – a figure expected to increase as the government has told FTSE 100 companies that they are to have a minimum of 25% of female directors by 2015.

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