BOE Getting Better on Gender Balance of Staff, Haldane Says

(Bloomberg) -- The Bank of England is making progress on the gender balance of its staff, according to Chief Economist Andy Haldane.

Across the central bank’s four senior committees -- which include the monetary policy setting group and its governing body of directors-- appointments since 2013 have been perfectly balanced between men and women, Haldane said at an event in London.

Using methods like pooled recruiting -- which favors picking candidates that are most unlike existing team members in order to benefit from diversity -- is also yielding positive results, he said.

Still, the more than three-century old central bank has a long way to go. The BOE only appointed its first female senior official in 1988 and looks to be struggling to meet its self-imposed target of 35 percent women in senior roles by 2020, with the proportion falling back to 29 percent last year. The Monetary Policy Committee has only one female member, and the BOE has regularly faced criticism from lawmakers for a lack of women in top roles.

“I don’t want to leave you with the impression we’re not making progress,” Haldane said. “Female staff have doubled since 2013. At least the direction of travel is the right one.”

He said the only thing to do is to keep trying to improve diversity.

“What we have done, and should continue to do, is throw the kitchen sink at it,” he said.

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