A 2018 IMF paper makes a critical call to action to integrate inclusion into macro policy and not just social policy approaches, setting out the positive contributions that gender inclusion has across financial markets. But is also shows a shocking absence of women in senior leadership and financial supervision.
The IMF paper 'Women in Finance: The Case for Closing the Gap (2018)' looks at female participation in the financial sector across three areas – as users of financial services, as business leaders in the finance sector, and in financial regulation and supervision. The results are important as they underline the positive benefits of women having meaningful roles across the three areas, but also the stark gap that exists.
The paper highlights the importance of ensuring that women have access to financial services as primary users, and the positive macro-economic effects that result from such access.
However, the striking finding from authors Ratna Sahay and Martin Čihák is the shocking dearth of female representation in the leadership of financial institutions – in particular banks and banking supervision agencies across the world.
The study itself helps to plug a gap in the study of the impact on financial sector performance from the lack of representation. But more research is needed, to address the lack of appropriate data to assess the gaps and causes.
From a broader perspective, the paper makes a critical call to action that inclusion be addressed in wider macro policy and not just as a social policy issue. The authors argue that integrating inclusion policies will help to broaden financial markets and make monetary policy more effective.
It concludes that’ greater inclusion of women as users, providers and supervisors of financial services would have benefits beyond addressing gender inequality’. It would ‘foster greater stability and resilience in the banking system, enhance economic growth and contribute to more effective monetary and fiscal policy’.
Image from page 442 of Journal of researches into the natural history and geology of the countries visited during the voyage round the world of H.M.S. 'Beagle,' under the command of Captain Fitz Roy (1913)
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