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If women are so far ahead of men, why are they so far behind? Reports from both sides of the Atlantic show that female students dominate university courses, yet women still do not make it to the top. A report on inequality in the UK said last week that girls had better educational results than boys at 16, went to university in greater numbers and achieved better degrees once they got there. “More women now have higher education qualifications than men in every age group up to age 44,” the report said. In the US, 57 per cent of college graduates in 2006-07 were women. Women form the majority of all graduates under 45. Yet few women make it to the boards of companies in either country. In the UK, the proportion of women on FTSE 100 boards rose fractionally from 11.7 per cent to 12.2 per cent last year, according to the Cranfield University School of Management, but that was only because of a fall in the size of the boards. In the US, women accounted for 15.2 per cent of board seats on Fortune 500 companies, according to Catalyst, the research organisation, which said the numbers had barely budged for five years. The hopeful way of looking at this is that the rising generation of female graduates has yet to reach director age. Give it 10 years and they will dominate boards as they do universities. If that were true, however, we would surely see the number of women director numbers moving up by now. The first year that women college graduates outnumbered men in the US was 1982. These graduates must be entering their 50s – prime director age.