The lack of women in parliament is “simply scandalous”, a report into female representation in public life warns.
A study says there are too few women in top roles, with men making up three-quarters of MPs, 90 per cent of bank CEOs and almost nine out of ten chief constables and commissioners.
Two thirds of local councillors are male, and the research found the same proportion of public appointments went to men.
It means Britain is falling down the global league tables when it comes to women’s access to power and representation in politics, dropping from 33 out of 190 countries in 2011 to 60th in 2012.
The report Sex and Power 2013: Who Runs Britain?, commissioned by the Fawcett Society, says the lack of diversity in public life weakens democracy and public confidence in it.
The authors recommend “immediate action” to ensure more female political candidates.