There are 562 women “missing” from positions of power in Scotland, according to a damning new report examining workplace equality.

Engender’s Sex and Power 2020 study reports that this is the number of women it would take to be equal with men, who occupy 68 per cent of so-called “power roles” in Scotland.

The study took into account a raft of industries including politics, the public sector, media, justice and business.

However, the figures show an improvement on 2017, which considered 703 women to be “missing” from top jobs.

But, according to Engender, change is not coming quickly enough – and, while this year’s report shows a rise, this represents only a marginal rise in some areas and backsliding in others.

“Not enough change is happening”, the report claims, “and not quickly enough, to redress the gender imbalance in Scotland’s corridors of power”.

The report revealed a list of spheres that have less than 20% female representation.

These include the heads of transport bodies, temporary judges at the Supreme Court and trade union secretaries.

There are also no women chiefs at Scottish-based FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies and only two women out of the 50 people who head up top Scottish firms.

And, in sport, only 19% of chief executives of Scotland’s national governing bodies are female.

“Women’s sport”, the report said, “is categorically undervalued and marginalised in Scotland, resulting in a lack of visibility that has an impact on women and girls’ activity”.

At present, only 26.5% of Scotland’s most senior office-holders in the judicial system are women, representing a decrease since 2017; only two senior police officers are women; and 70% of all police officer posts are held by men.

“Greater gender diversity”, the report states, “is needed across Scotland’s judiciary and police force to increase women’s access to justice, and to tackle endemic violence against women”.

Emma Ritch, executive director of Engender said: “Sex And Power 2020 shows that positions of power in Scotland are still overwhelmingly dominated by men – controlling decisions over legislation, convictions, the media we consume and the healthcare we receive.

Three years has seen just 4% change in the overall representation of women in top positions, and several sectors, such as the judiciary, actually move backwards.”

One of the areas of greatest improvement is in politics. There, the report said, “efforts by Scottish Government, action by political parties, and pressure from the general public has seen significant gains. Half of Cabinet secretaries, the Scottish Parliament Corporate Body, and Scottish Members of the European Parliament are now women”.

However, the report described the pace of change of women being elected to local councils as “glacial”.

Women still only account for 29% of councillors and 23% of council leaders. Equalities Minister Christina McKelvie said: “It is everyone’s responsibility to address this gap.

The Scottish Government has taken action to improve women’s representation and to advance women’s equality in a broad range of areas.

In 2018, we introduced the Gender Representation on Public Boards Act to improve the representation of women on listed public boards in Scotland. Women have the capacity to be great leaders and we need to make sure they are being given the opportunity.”

In media, the report notes “Scotland has only one woman as editor of a major national newspaper, one woman as political editor in a major newspaper [Dundee Courier editor Catriona MacInnes has retired] and one woman as head of a national broadcaster”.

Women in Journalism Scotland co-chairs Libby Brooks and Jan Patience said: “At a point when the political landscape has never been more fastchanging, and with the trial of a former first minister on multiple sexual assault charges imminent, it is crucial women’s voices and perspectives are represented.”