Policy Diagnostic: Women in Leadership

This policy diagnostic presents policymakers with an overview of gender balance in the finance industry and then focuses on key areas for advancing women’s movement into, and active participation in, executive and other leadership roles.

The diagnostic underscores the importance of gender diversity in leadership positions within the financial sector and highlights persistent disparities in women’s representation. While research demonstrates the positive impact of women in top roles on financial performance, achieving gender parity remains a distant goal. Women’s World Banking advocates for policies and practices that facilitate women’s advancement into leadership roles, emphasizing the pivotal role of policymakers in fostering equitable environments. 

This research reveals variations in women’s presence in leadership roles across countries, institutions, and positions. While progress has been observed in gender balance across various institutions, it remains inconsistent, with central banks and commercial banks exhibiting differing trends. Notably, women continue to be underrepresented in C-suite positions, with a significant proportion filling administrative roles. Efforts to address these disparities require comprehensive policy interventions targeting discrimination, harassment, and parental leave policies.

About this Publication

By Megan Dwyer Baumann, Francesca Brown, Sarah Buitoni & Sonja Kelly