Spain to Appoint New Central Bank Governor Amid Calls for Women

(Bloomberg) -- European nations are facing mounting calls to name women to lead their central banks. This week Spain gets the chance to respond.

Economy Minister Roman Escolano is due to announce a new Bank of Spain governor as soon as Tuesday to replace Luis Maria Linde. Appointing a female governor would break new ground for an institution that traces its roots back to 1782 and whose 69 previous governors have all been men.

Spain’s decision is in the spotlight after European Central Bank Executive Board member Benoit Coeure just days ago called on governments to do more for diversity and appoint more women to top jobs. Just two of the 25 current members of the ECB’s Governing Council are women.

Among the names linked to Spanish job -- which carries a seat on the ECB’s policy-setting council -- are Jose Luis Escriva, the head of the budget watchdog and former chief economist at BBVA, and Pablo Hernandez de Cos, the Bank of Spain’s current head of research and statistics.

Female candidates the government may be inclined to consider include Margarita Delgado, deputy director at the Single Supervisory Mechanism under the ECB’s watch, or Rosa Maria Sanchez-Yebra, former head of the Spanish Treasury.

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Recent opportunities to increase gender diversity at the ECB haven’t worked out.

Luis de Guindos, a former Spanish economy minister, won the race to replace ECB Vice President Vitor Constancio this year. When Finland appointed Olli Rehn to succeed central bank Governor Erkki Liikanen in July, he was picked from a list of 10 candidates that was exclusively male. Not a single woman had applied.

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