There is not much to cheer about in this year’s Equality and Human Rights Commission's annual report “Sex and Power”, which looks at women in top positions of power and influence across the public and private sectors. Indeed, the Commission itself says that the findings indicate a worrying trend of reversal or stalled progress, with only a few significant increases.

Now in its fifth year, this year’s index indicates fewer women holding top posts in 12 of the 25 categories, including fewer women MPs in Westminster. On a more positive note, however, women’s representation among FTSE 100 directors has improved slightly from 10.4 to 11.0 per cent.

The Commission has said women's progress is moving at a snail's pace. A snail could crawl:

  • nine times round the M25 in the 55 years it will take women to achieve equality in the senior judiciary
    from Land's End to John O'Groats and halfway back again in the 73 years it will take for equal numbers of women to become directors of FTSE 100 companies
    the entire length of the Great Wall of China in 212 years, only slightly longer than the 200 years it will take for women to be equally represented in Parliament.

This year's report forms part of the Commission's ongoing “Working Better” project. Launched in July of this year, the campaign aims to identify innovative ways of working which can help meet the challenges of the 21st century.

To download a copy of the report, go to: