The nine top UK jobs which have never been held by women

new Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick, whose tenure at the head of Scotland Yard begins today when she formally takes charge of the country's largest police force. Picture by Charlotte Ball/PA Wire.
new Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick, whose tenure at the head of Scotland Yard begins today when she formally takes charge of the country's largest police force. Picture by Charlotte Ball/PA Wire.

Today is Cressida Dick's first day as commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. She is the first female commissioner in the force's 188-year history.

Here are some of the most important positions in the UK that have still never been held by a woman.

:: Chancellor of the Exchequer

Holding responsibility for the UK's economy makes being a chancellor one of the most important jobs in the country.

The role has been around since the 1200s and no woman has ever held the post.

:: Secretary of State for Defence

The position of defence secretary is another hugely important role in the Cabinet that is yet to be held by both sexes. Secretary of state for education has been held by a woman multiple times. Labour's Ellen Wilkinson was the first woman to serve in that role in 1945, and Justine Greening currently holds the role.

:: Head of the Civil Service

It is not just some of the major jobs in politics that are missing female representation - the same is also seen in some top positions in the civil service.

This includes the head of the civil service, as well as the cabinet secretary.

:: Governor of the Bank of England

The first governor of the Bank of England was Sir John Houblon in 1694, and ever since only a man has held the post.

:: Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6)

MI5 has had two female directors general in its history - Dame Stella Rimington and Baroness Eliza Manningham-Buller. MI6 has not had a woman at the helm in its 112-year history.

:: Mayor of London

The official post of mayor was only established in 2000 with the election of Ken Livingstone. Sadiq Khan made history by becoming the first Muslim elected to the post in 2016, but a woman is yet to have the honour.

:: Archbishop of Canterbury

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there has never been a female archbishop. Libby Lane was the first woman to be ordained as a bishop in the Church of England in 2015.

:: Leader of the Liberal Democrat and Labour parties

There are multiple women leading political parties in the UK: Nicola Sturgeon, Theresa May, Caroline Lucas and Leanne Wood all hold the top jobs in their respective parties. However, the Lib Dems have not had a woman at the helm since its establishment in 1988.

Labour has only had temporary female leaders. Margaret Beckett briefly served as leader after John Smith died suddenly in 1994, and Harriet Harman, as deputy leader, automatically took on the role first in 2010 when Gordon Brown resigned and again in 2015 when Ed Miliband stepped down.