The challenge of gender diversity in central banks

I am still going through the findings of Census of India-2011. The preliminary findings have raised concerns over declining sex-ration in 0-6 years indicating preference of male child and female feticide continues.

Meanwhile I came across this interesting speech by Joanne Kellermann of Netherlands Central bank.  She is the only woman on the governing board of the central bank. In the speech she touches on how the bank is trying to increase women in the bank’s workforce and making it more diverse.

First she says women are suitable job candidates as they have  more patience:

Many women are inclined by nature to wait until the organisation notices their management potential. They only apply for a position if they comfortably meet all the job requirements. When interviewing job candidates of their own sex, recruiters tend to more easily recognise gender-specific aspects and to value them more highly.

Why does the central bank have a diversity policy?

DNB is convinced that diversity among its staff will lead to better results. In view of the tighter labour market, DNB is keen to use female potential. Finally, as a guardian of financial stability, DNB has an important social role. In keeping with our social responsibility, we wish to pursue a diversity policy that ensures that our workforce is a good reflection of our society. This means that diversity within DNB embraces more than just the gender aspect, which I am focusing on today. Cases in point are employees with different cultural backgrounds, an occupational handicap or different sexual preferences. I’m glad to tell you that DNB has its own network for homosexual and lesbian employees and that, for the third time, DNB will participate with its own boat in the Canal Parade as part of the Amsterdam Gay Pride celebration.

Currently, women are in 28% of the management positions and DNB plans to raise it to 32%. DNB is a part of a charter called Dutch initiative whose idea is to bring more women in workforce. There are different targets for departments.

The target for divisional directors is set at 25%, for department heads at 30% and for section heads at 40%. DNB’s Governing Board has expressly committed itself to these targets and the Supervisory Board is given an annual update on progress towards them. DNB has translated this vision into several diversity targets.

Moreover, there will be a commission which will monitor these targets. So, like we see in monetary policy just saying the targets is not enough. Just like govt monitors the central bank performance on inflation, there will be a monitoring agency as well for seeing diversity policy:

She then discusses instruments by which diversity targets will be achieved. They range from identifying women talent to training of women candidates for management positions.

How does India’s central bank fare? I was trying to get male/female employee ratio but could not really find it. So just saw the list of senior management of the bank. I divided the list as male and female:

  Male female
Governor 1 0
Deputy Governor 3 1
ED 6 0
Department heads 18 6
 Total 28 7
% of Total 80 20 

The ratio could be improved here. It will be interesting to see the ratio for the whole organisation as well.

Joanne Kellermann above states women are by nature more patient. Central banking is also about patience as first it takes time decide and then to show desired results. Central banking might just be a right fit for women in that case…


One Response to “The challenge of gender diversity in central banks”

  1. Gay Pride Canal Parade 2012: who is next to come out? « the limping messenger Says:

    […] Pride 2012, who is next to come out?  The Dutch army and the National Bank (DNB) are only a few official institutions that participate with a boat of their own in the yearly Canal […]

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