Gender Balance Index 2021

Fewer than 1% of leading global financial institutions have achieved gender balance

In the most comprehensive study to date of diversity in the top levels at central banks, sovereign funds, public pension funds and commercial banks, only three out of 540 institutions achieved a perfect GBI score of 100. Just 12 of these – or 2.2% – scored 90 or more, a level that indicates the institution is close to achieving balance. Only 71 are headed by women and 56 have no women at all in their executive teams or on their boards.

The index tracks the presence of men and women in decision-making positions in financial institutions. It is based on a database of almost 9,000 individuals. For the first time this year we are including commercial banks in the analysis to make comparisons between the public and private sector. The 50 commercial banks selected for this report achieved an average score of 29.9, compared to the weighted average score of 27.0 for central banks, 25.4 for pension funds and 18.6 for sovereign funds.

OMFIF’s research was complemented by an anonymous survey of the diversity and inclusion practices at 50 institutions. The results show that the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of policies considered to contribute to a more supportive work environment for women’s careers: 92% of respondents now have remote working, almost double last year’s 48%; and 98% have some form of flexible working, with about two-thirds saying this was prompted by the pandemic.

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