Let’s try not to get too caught up in media frenzy over David Cameron’s ‘revolutionary’ Cabinet reshuffle, with his ‘forward-thinking’ promotion of women.
Let’s, instead, focus on some more slightly more backward-thinking facts.
Because while the introduction of two new full Cabinet members, Nicky Morgan and Liz Truss; the ability for another woman - Esther McVey - to attend Cabinet meetings and the promotion of a handful of more junior ministers is a step in the right direction, it’s a barely imperceptible one in the ultimate journey.
The percentage of women in the Cabinet is still well below a third (only 26%). Internationally, the UK still stumbles along at 65th in the global league for female representation – which is behind Rwanda and Afghanistan.
Needless to say, it’s a pattern that doesn’t run exclusively in politics.
At last count, only 17% of FTSE 100 company directorships were held by women; only 5% of all media editors were female and a paltry 13.6% of the senior legal profession were women.
Not only is this a blatant flouting of equal rights, it’s also a blatant flouting of common sense.
Time and time again, women are proven better leaders than men.
A recent worldwide leadership monitor (from US firm Ketchum Communications) looked at the general perceptions of leaders in various forums, from business and politics to not-for-profit.
And the result? In five out of seven metrics of effective leadership - leading by example, communicating in an open and transparent way, admitting mistakes, bringing out the best in others, and handling controversial issues or crises calmly and confidently - women very brightly outshone men.
It’s not their only win, either. At the height of the recession two years ago, research by two psychologists proved women were much better suited for leadership in difficult times, being more than twice as likely to be wary or prudent, against men’s twice as likely be to adventurous and carefree.
Okay, it’s not quite as simplistic as saying women are always better at leading than men – the male dulled sense of risk-adversity or compassion can be the right thing in the right place at the right time.
“Studies have shown that women tend to have higher levels of emotional intelligence and empathy,” agrees Sonia Hendy-Isaac, senior lecturer at Birmingham City University.
“But does this make them more adept at leading more effectively? Arguably, statistically at least, the answer is yes, if you narrow the notions of ‘better in power’ to those qualities.
“In real terms however, it very much depends on the individual - placing the notions of good leadership into the binary of male and female is like arguing that redheads are more ill-tempered than blondes.”
And so, as with most things in life, the real key to finding the best leadership is finding the best balance. More women, enough men – job done.