Few women found in top public finance roles

9 Dec 15

Men still dominate central banks and finance ministries throughout Europe, with only one in 25 top jobs held by women, the European Institute for Gender Equality has found.


In its study, Gender Equality in Power and Decision-making, found that while gender equality has progressed in many areas, especially politics, progress has been almost nonexistent in finance. Only one of the EU’s 28 central bank governors is a woman and there are only two female finance ministers.

Virginja Langbakk, EIGE’s director, said: “The money belongs to all of us, why is it that men get to decide how it is spent? Control of the money is still dominated by men.

“We’ve all become aware of women’s role in politics and other areas and we’ve made some progress, but still not in finance. It is time finance caught up.”

The analysis concludes that the lack of women in central banking is a result of persistent male-dominant gender roles and continued gender stereotyping that lead to gender-based recruitment and promotion procedures.

Similarly, it said gender stereotyping still plays a role in politics, with men dominating political portfolios such as defence, justice and foreign policy while women are concentrated in ministries with socio-cultural functions such as education, health and culture.

In the private sector, it said the number of female chief executives in publicly listed companies was extremely low – at just 4% ‒ however women’s overall representation on corporate boards has increased from 9% in 2003 to 20% in 2014, in particular among member states where binding legislation is in effect.

EIGE said that commitment is key in getting more women into top jobs, with awareness-raising and legal or voluntary quotas among the options available to make the change. 

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