Who are Central Banks? Gender, Human Resources, and Central Banking


Mariarosaria Comunale ; Petra de Bruxelles ; Kalpana Kochhar ; Juliette Raskauskas ; Filiz D Unsal

Publication Date:

May 5, 2023

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.


Central banks, as the epitome of the economics profession and the main paragon of public institutions, can reveal key insights into gender patterns. We create a novel multidimensional survey directed at eight central banks in advanced economies (G7 national central banks and the European Central Bank), covering several aspects of gender, such as women’s participation at different seniority levels, employment trends, and human resources practices. These elements are summarized in a new comprehensive index of gender equality—Human Resources Gender Index (HRGI). We show that these central banks have room for improvement in the inclusion of women in economics professions, managerial positions, and with full time contracts. Women in central banking also face a gender pay gap. In comparison, International Financial Institutions (the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank Group, and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) perform better in terms of gender equality. The HRGI index, hiring and promotion of women, and their contract types are associated with output and credit gaps, thus being of macro-critical importance. In return, some country characteristics can be related to gender equality, such as women in high-level positions, government effectiveness, and corruption.


Working Paper No. 2023/091





Publication Date:

May 5, 2023



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