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Less than a third of UK top jobs filled by women -BBC

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Tue, 29 May 2012 15:52 GMT
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LONDON (TrustLaw) – Fewer than one third of the UK's top jobs across key sectors such as business and politics are held by women, a BBC report said on Tuesday.

Research by BBC News showed that women hold on average 30.9 percent of the most senior positions in the country.

The armed forces have the poorest representation with only 1.3 percent of the top posts held by women, followed by the judiciary with 13.2 percent.   

Secondary education is where women are best represented in senior management with 37.6 percent of the top jobs taken by them.

"Men outnumber women by four to one in parliament and only a third of local councillors are women," Preethi Sundaram of the London-based campaign group, Fawcett Society, told the BBC.

The European Commission is expected to decide this autumn on measures to put more women in top management jobs. Just one in seven board members of European top firms are women, the BBC reported.

The British government has decided not to support the initiative, saying progress is being made toward gender equality in the workplace, and that there was no need to resort to "burdensome legislation".

Although "tremendous progress" has been made, it's not happening fast enough, barrister Cherie Blair told the BBC in an interview.

Giving her support to the European Commission initiative, she said: "You need to get to at least a 30 percent level (of women in top jobs), in which case we are not doing as well as we should."

In Britain, the 30 Percent Club group of chairmen is working towards raising the representation of women on the boards of FTSE-100 companies to 30 percent from 14.8 percent.

Before taking office in 2010, UK Prime Minister David Cameron pledged that a third of his ministers would be women by the end of his mandate.

Currently, only 17 percent of 121 government ministers are women, according to the BBC.

Read here why men are a key weapon in women’s battle for top positions.

(Editing by Katie Nguyen)

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