Stat of the month: A conspicuous absence

3.8% - Proportion of female executive directors in the FTSE-100.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

The FTSE-100 remains a male-dominated society. Women still make up only a tiny percentage of board members in the UK's blue-chips, holding 15 executive directorships. The Government has been trying to narrow the great gender divide, but political moves to improve women's prospects in the labour market have yet to show results. These include a £500,000 Ruth Kelly-sponsored effort to bring flexible working to top-flight jobs. Kelly has said the Government will work with various partners to help employers identify gender-related pay gaps. It's not a uniquely British problem. The graduate intake into European business is balanced in terms of gender, yet women hold only 15% of executive posts. On the upside, female directors in the FTSE-100 now include two CEOs, one chair, three deputy chairs and one MD. But advances come at a cost. Research from the Centre for Longitudinal Studies shows that a third of our female graduates will remain childless. Clearly, government policy won't eradicate work/life conflict for Britain's new generation of businesswomen.

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