Who Runs Wales? Key Findings

Public bodies

  • Women make up the majority of the public sector workforce in Wales, this is not generally reflected in positions of power.
  • Two sectors made considerable progress, showing that it can be done:
  1. In the health sector the proportion of Chief Executives who are women has increased from 10 to 60 per cent.
  2. In education, 60 per cent of head teachers in schools in Wales are women, and the proportion of female University Vice-Chancellors has risen from 22 to 38 per cent.


  • The proportion of female Council Leaders is low at nine per cent.
  • There is a better gender balance among local elected representatives as a whole; three-quarters of all councillors are men.
  • Since we last reported, there has been an increase in the proportion of women in the Welsh Government Cabinet.
  • The proportion of AMs and Welsh MEPs who are women remains the same.
  • The proportion of MPs from Wales who are women increased at the 2015 election.

Public appointments

  • Less than five per cent of public appointments are held by disabled people, whereas over 20 per cent of the Welsh population are disabled.


  • Only six per cent of chief executives or equivalent of the top 100 businesses in Wales are women.

Last updated: 08 Mar 2017