There are few women in top positions in either the public or the private sector in Britain. Despite vocal commitments to transparent selection on merit, despite the outlawing of unfair discrimination, despite the assertion by most major institutions of commitment to equality and diversity, there are few exceptions to the ubiquitous pattern of male dominance. Such jobs entail power, money and influence. While employment in Britain has become more diverse since the middle of the twentieth century, this is not reflected in the most senior decision-making positions. While government has the resources to bring about change, it is reluctant to act decisively. Good practice in much of the government itself has yet to be realised, which provides a clear message to reluctant chairmen of boards that the is not serious about its commitment to gender equality.