The Bank of England seems to have a woman problem in terms of diversity, but they’ve recently started working on it
The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee seems to be lacking diversity and not looking like many of the people whose lives they have so much influence over. There is only one woman on the Committee and yet women make up half of the UK population. There is also no black Asian, or minority ethnic group member. While current governor, Mark Carney, is the 120th in a continuous line of white men to have headed the Bank.
However, the bank is trying to fix its woman problem, in January, they had two women appointed to the Financial Policy Committee: former Virgin Money boss Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia and Banking Standards Board chair Dame Colette Bowe. The Bank’s chief operating officer Joanna Place also added:
“In terms of diversity and inclusion, we have done a lot more than just gender and ethnicity. We have a number of staff networks. We have inclusive events. We have a wellbeing policy. We have done a cognitive diversity survey. We have started to look at social mobility.”
Meanwhile, Wendy Carlin, a professor of economics at University College London, says the problem is not with the Bank of England but the economics profession itself:
“If you google economists you’ll get a great number of pictures of economists in suits holding up a financial chart. Those impressions are self-reproducing. If people only see men in suits then they don’t think it’s for them. Statistics show that women are far less likely than men to study economics, let alone get a job in the sector. Just over a third of undergraduate economics students in the UK are women. The picture is similar in Australia and the US.”