Despite the rising number of women entering the world of business, the percentage of female board members has stayed the same since last year, a report reveals today.
While the average fees for non-executive directors who sit part-time on company boards have surged by seven per cent to £47,000, sparking claims of fat-cat payments, very few women are benefiting.
Just three per cent of non-executive directors are women - a figure that hasn't changed since last year - while only ten per cent of full-time directors are female, the report by consultancy Deloitte said.
The study also found executive directors' salaries jumped seven per cent to £350,000 while bonus payments have risen to 60 per cent of salary compared to 50 per cent last year.
Carol Arrowsmith, head of the remuneration team at Deloitte, said the report makes for depressing reading.
"There is still a huge gender imbalance in the boardroom," she said. "You can count the number of female chief executives on the fingers of one hand."
As appointments are often made due to the experience of the candidates, with more women entering into business one would expect this pattern to change sometime in the future, she said.
One of the reasons cited for women not achieving the highest posts is that they often cut back their hours after starting a family leaving them out of the running for promotion.
Younger people's attitudes towards industry have almost nothing in common with those of older people, a separate survey by the Work Foundation maintains.
The study revealed that 65 per cent of Midlanders think that industry is doing worse now than it was 30 years ago. The national average is 54 per cent.
However old-fashioned gender perceptions appear to be fading, with less than one per cent thinking industry has masculine connotations.
Hardly anyone in the Midlands conjours up the word 'strike' when they think of the sector, but 20 per cent associate it with decline, seven per cent above the national average.
"The meaning of the word 'industry' is changing faster than most of us imagined," said Will Hutton, chief executive of the Work Foundation.