SOAS University of London

SOAS Department of Economics as official partner of this year’s OMFIF Gender Balance Index

8 March 2019

The Gender Balance Index tracks the presence of men and women in senior positions of public financial institutions globally. The report features a contribution on “The missing women of finance” by Dr Hannah Bargawi, Senior Lecturer in the SOAS Department of Economics.

The SOAS Department of Economics is an official partner of this year’s Gender Balance Index report published by the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF), an independent think tank for central banking, economic policy and public investment. The report was launched at an event at the Swiss Embassy in London a day ahead of International Women’s Day.

The annual Gender Balance Index tracks the presence of men and women in senior positions of public financial institutions globally, weighted by seniority. Gender diversity in central banks has improved slightly over last year, but the overall picture remains heavily unbalanced, much more so than the equivalent in politics or the private side of the financial sector. The study, in its sixth year, is a call to action, drawing attention to this disappointing picture through a comprehensive and methodical analysis. The index tracks the presence of men and women among senior staff of central banks, sovereign funds and public pension funds, weighted by level of seniority. A score of 100% would be awarded to a perfectly gender-balanced institution. Global and regional scores are further weighted by the size of institutions’ corresponding economies and assets under management.

The report features a contribution on “The missing women of finance” by Dr Hannah Bargawi, Senior Lecturer in the SOAS Department of Economics. Hannah also participated in a podcast on gender diversity in central banks, along with Vicky Pryce, former head of the UK Government Economic Service, and Amelia Cox, co-chair of the Women’s Leadership Student Interest Group at Cambridge University’s Judge Business School. The podcast discusses the prospects for diversity within the economics and finance professions, the arguments for inclusion in the private and public sector institutions, and the policies and initiatives to support women’s career progression and avoid a ‘leaky pipeline’.

The SOAS Department of Economics has been promoting gender balance in economics and is proud that it consistently attracts a gender-balanced undergraduate and postgraduate student body. The SOAS Department of Economics has an almost 50-50 split among its academic staff.

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