David Cameron has conceded there are "not nearly enough" women around his Cabinet table – or in senior positions in business and the judiciary.
Just five of the 32 ministers entitled to attend Cabinet meetings are female – far short of Mr Cameron's pledge in opposition that at least one-third of his ministers would be women.
His failure to appoint more in the last reshuffle five months ago provoked anger and accusations that he was not sincere about his modernising agenda.
But he said yesterday: "There still aren't nearly enough women in boardrooms, around the Cabinet table and in the judiciary. There is a lot further to go."