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Analysis

Global Public Investor Gender Balance Index

Press Release

8 March 2017, London

Gpigbi Press Release Website

The world of central banking is highly unbalanced when it comes to gender, and the disequilibrium seems to be getting worse, according to the 2017 OMFIF Global Public Investor Gender Balance Index. The index tracks the balance between men and women in senior positions of central banks around the world, weighted by level of seniority.

The coverage has been considerably extended from OMFIF’s analysis in previous years to include individuals with a role in the monetary policy committee or higher, and to 175 institutions globally. For earlier scores see The Bulletin in April 2016 and January 2015. The value of the overall index – which aggregates the performance of individual institutions weighted by their share of the global economy – stood at 30.6% in 2017.

Key findings

  • Russia, the US and France are the only G20 economies to feature in the top 20 of the OMFIF 2017 Gender Balance Index.
  • In Europe, a very high score in Russia (80%) is neutralised by weak scores in non-EU economies such as Turkey (0%).
  • Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific are not keeping pace, though Asia Pacific is host to the top-ranking central bank for gender balance; the Maldives Monetary Authority.
  • Latin America earns the lowest regional score for gender balance, despite a large concentration of female governors in some central banks of small Caribbean and central American states. Latin America’s largest economies have no female representation in senior central banking positions.

Emma Howard Boyd, Environment Agency and 30% Club Investor Group: 'The 30% Club warmly welcomes the publication of the OMFIF Gender Balance Index 2017. Whilst it is disappointing to note the lack of senior women in central banking, the index gives us an invaluable baseline against which to track future progress. In spotlighting the issue, we believe banks are now much more likely to address the gaping disparity within their institutions. Gender diversity in decision-making roles is a critical factor influencing business differentiation, investment strategies and ultimately financial performance – and central banks, just like other organisations, need to sharpen their efforts to diversify, driving change from within to move towards greater balance.'

Christine Lagarde, International Monetary Fund: 'Over recent decades, women have been extending their achievements in education, political representation, and economic participation. But gender gaps remain. Globally, just 55% of women participate in the labour force, compared with 80% of men. Women are only now earning what men did a decade ago. Narrowing these gaps requires a commitment to gender equality by governments, international institutions and the private sector.'

Vicky Pryce, Centre for Economics and Business Research: 'For young women, having role models in senior posts matters most. For organisations, it is good business to keep the talented women in whom they have invested so much early in their careers.'

Jenny Corbett, Australian National University: 'At a time when economics is criticised for irrelevance, disconnect from reality, and unacceptable hubris, diversity of views is more vital than ever. We are wasting resources when we fail to recruit and promote talented women.'

For more information on the 2017 Gender Balance Index, please click here.