A report in the Health Service Journal has revealed that the majority of newly set up clinical commissioning groups are led by men. Women make up only 15 per cent of chairs or leads at the 285 commissioning groups.
A similar situation exists in Local Authorities women make up 70 per cent of the Local Authority workforce but only 21 per cent of chief executives and only 30 per cent of senior managers.
In the private sector the statistics are even more depressing. A recent report by management consultants Deloitte found that 20 per cent of companies in the FTSE 100 had no women on their board. Most revealing in terms of the commitment to change is the fact that the proportion of women on boards has only increased from 5 per cent to 9 per cent in ten years.
The public sector may be further ahead in making a reality of equal opportunity rhetoric but these statistics show that there is a problem with management culture across all sectors.
The management culture at Gatwick Airport as revealed in the TV documentary Inside Gatwick may give us an insight into how those top 100 organisations are really run - and don’t forget the public sector is always being compared to successful private sector organisations.
Just because public sector managers would be much more careful about making comments about female staff that doesn’t mean that they don’t share some of their views on how staff should be managed.
Could it be, though, that the reasons why progress remains depressingly slow in public and private sectors is the persistence of a macho management culture. Could it be that in a climate of brutal budget cuts it is all to easy for the management culture to become one which uses fear and blame to motivate people, where success is measured in the short term, and competition takes president over cooperation. Could it be that despite commissioning being a new activity in the NHS the harsh financial climate means the same type of managers with the same type of leadership style are sought after?