IMF Executive Board Discusses the FY 2020–FY 2021 Diversity and Inclusion Report

June 22, 2022

Washington DC: IMF Executive Board Discusses the FY 2020–FY 2021 Diversity and Inclusion Report on January 24, 2022, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) discussed the FY 2020–FY 2021 Diversity and Inclusion Report .

Background The biennial report is prepared by the IMF’s Diversity and Inclusion Office in consultation with the Diversity and Inclusion Council. The Council is a Fund-wide representative body that provides guidance to management, department heads, and departmental Diversity Reference Groups on diversity-related matters. The report is published every two years on the Fund’s external website and provides an accounting of the institution’s efforts to promote a more diverse and inclusive working environment for all employees.

Executive Board Assessment [1] Executive Directors welcomed the opportunity to discuss the FY 2020–FY 2021 Diversity and Inclusion Report, which provides a comprehensive update on the Fund’s diversity and inclusion efforts. They reiterated the importance of diversity and inclusion (D&I) as a priority for the Fund to ensure a level playing field and equitable treatment for all staff. While welcoming the good progress made in some areas, Directors noted the challenges in reaching the FY 2025 diversity benchmarks. They broadly supported the proposed approach in the report, including the two-year framework and strengthening of managerial accountability in achieving D&I objectives. Directors were encouraged by the progress made on the representation of women in managerial roles, particularly at the most senior levels, as well as the achievement of the benchmarks for two of the under-represented regions (URR); East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa; at the individual contributor level.

Directors expressed concern, however, regarding the limited progress in the representation of MENA+ nationals and the low representation of URRs in managerial roles and encouraged staff to think of innovative ways to source, attract, and retain diverse candidates. Directors welcomed the analyses on promotions and noted improvement in the rates of promotion for some URRs. However, they noted with concern the trends of certain groups receiving much higher rates of promotions, and the low number of URR women getting promoted at certain levels, in particular those from Sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, a number of Directors noted the lower-than-average promotion of MENA+ nationals from A14 to A15 in the economist stream. Directors noted the recently introduced pilot Sponsorship Program for staff from URRs and looked forward to discussing lessons from the program in due course.

Directors welcomed the analysis on educational diversity and appreciated the expansion of outreach to a larger number of universities, with a focus on those in URRs, facilitated by the significant increase in virtual recruitment missions. They expressed hope that this would eventually result in more educational diversity in the coming years and saw merit in continuing virtual missions to all regions beyond the pandemic. Directors appreciated the efforts made on inclusion, particularly the Fund’s commitment to foster a more inclusive and equitable work environment. They welcomed the expansion of the scope of the Fund’s D&I portfolio in the areas of racial equity and disabilities. With regard to disabilities, Directors saw much scope to improve inclusion through concerted efforts to address this diversity dimension.

Directors highlighted difficulties in relation to visas and work permits for spouses and for partners of LGBTQ+ staff. Directors commended the efforts to increase managerial accountability for achieving D&I results through the departmental D&I action plans and the emphasis during Accountability Framework discussions and encouraged continued progress in this area. Directors considered the D&I Survey an important assessment tool to help monitor changes in the work environment. Noting the concerns expressed by staff in the 2021 survey results, Directors looked forward to details on the Departmental Action Plans to address staff’s concerns, with a few Directors emphasizing the importance of conducting regular surveys.

Directors broadly welcomed many of the proposed actions set out in the two-year framework. In this regard, they emphasized the opportunity to sustain progress in the representation of URR nationals and women through leveraging the hiring space provided to address Fund priorities and the anticipated increase in retirements in the coming years. At the same time, a few Directors underscored the importance of looking beyond URR and gender to enhance staff diversity. Many Directors underscored the importance of increasing the representation of women at the Executive Board.

[1] An explanation of any qualifiers used in summing up can be found here: .

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