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Central banks, the number of women among governors is growing

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Central banks, the number of women among governors is growing

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The movement is slow, but constant. The number of women at the helm of central banks in the world is increasing, although their percentage of the total remains low. These are 29 female governors out of a total of 185, equal to a percentage of 16%. The data emerges from the annual Gender Balance Index 2024 (GBI) report drawn up by the independent think tank Omfif, which observes how central banks have achieved an important milestone in terms of gender equality: for the first time the percentage of women among all staff senior central bankers exceeded 30%.

Central bank governors

Source: Omfif

There have also been improvements in top positions with 31% of the total deputy governors now being women. Nine new governor appointments, including five in Europe, three in Asia Pacific and one at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Luigi. In all nine cases, they are the first women to be appointed to this position in their institutions.

At the top of central banks

Source: Omfif

The report examined a total of 335 institutions, of which 185 central banks and 50 for each of the other categories: sovereign funds, commercial banks, pension funds. In total, 6,540 people were interviewed around the world.

I sovereign funds

The report also examines sovereign funds, historically the group among the panels examined with the worst performances in the Gender Balance Index. The picture in this case is made of chiaroscuro: progress in terms of gender equality in senior positions is stagnant, so much so that only five sovereign funds are led by women. At the same time, however, the percentage of women in top management roles has risen to cover a third of the positions.

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At the top of sovereign funds

Source: Omfif

Commercial banks

If we look, however, at commercial banks, the opportunity to increase the number of female CEOs was also lost in 2023, when the new CEOs, among the 50 banks examined, were nine and all men. In this case, the share of women in top positions even fell to 30.8% from 31.2% in 2018. From 2021, commercial banks led by women have improved their ranking in the GBI index, obtaining an average score by 24 points, compared to just six points for male-led banks. A case in itself is Banco do Brasil, the only bank with a score above 80, which is also the highest GBI score obtained so far among commercial banks.

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