Gender Balance Index 2020: Driving diversity

Gender balance in central banks is improving but progress is slow, reveals index and report from Mazars and the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF).
The OMFIF Gender Balance Index tracks the presence of men and women in senior positions at central banks, sovereign funds and public pension funds. The study, now in its seventh year, scores and ranks institutions based on gender balance in their management and boards.

Financial institutions are moving in the right direction

But progress is slow. The Gender Balance Index finds:

  • Gender balance in central banks has improved for the second year in a row, but the global score remains at 27.5 (a score of 100 means perfect balance.)
  • One in five central banks has no women in senior positions.
  • Only 14 central banks globally are headed by a woman, including the European Central Bank led by Christine Lagarde, its first female president.

Widespread resistance to quotas

The vast majority of central banks do not have gender quotas for senior management positions. An overwhelming 84% of our sample do not have a gender quota for their board or directors or monetary policy board. Some organisations said that while they do not have a quota, they have a target, in most cases that one-third of positions should be filled by women.

European pension funds are ahead

European public pension funds perform the best for gender equality and are the most improved among the three institution types covered by the survey. There are 36 female chief executive officers of pension funds in Europe, compared to last year’s 31 – out of 191 funds. Denmark’s pension fund for state-registered nurses and medical secretaries score a perfect 100 in 2020.

Spain tops the index

The seventh annual index found Spain to be the best performer on gender equality. It is followed by Aruba, Iceland and Malaysia. Banco de España tops this year’s index for central banks, while The Cayman Islands was the only jurisdiction covered by the GBI where more than one type of institution is headed by a woman (a pension fund and central bank.)