Gender and Career Progression

The Bank of England, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the European Central Bank held a conference on gender and career progression on 14-15 May 2018.


On 14 May 2018 the Bank of England hosted a conference with the ECB and Federal Reserve on Gender and Career Progression. There were 142 attendees from a range of organisations. It was the first conference to be held by the central banks on this topic and primarily focused on gender diversity in Economics and related professions. But many of the key themes will be seen in other professions/industries. The papers and discussions explored the evidence base for gender discrimination, the benefits of increased diversity, the role of culture and the approaches that can be used to improve gender diversity.

Up to 50% of the gender pay gap can be explained by lack of female representation at top of wage distribution (Brian Bell)

The gender split of those entering economics in the US has remained at c30% over the past 20 years. In contrast, currently 55% of graduates in STEM subjects are female (Mary Daly)

Women face significant hurdles to advancing in academia relative to men (Erin Hengel)

40% of women feel they are judged unfairly at work; 81% of men believe this rarely happens to women. (Armstrong & Stocking)

Mark Carney at the Gender and Career Progression Conference

Mark Carney - Governor, Bank of England

Peter Praet

Peter Praet - Executive Board Member and Chief Economist, European Central Bank

Mary Daly at the Gender and Career Progression Conference

Mary Daly - Executive Vice President and Director of Research, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Presentation slides from the event

  • Brian Bell, King’s Business School & Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics

    Brian Bell (@KingsCollegeLon) examined gender and career progression over time. Finds that horizontal equality has been largely but not completely achieved. But vertical inequality remains prevalent; as much as 50% of the gender pay gap in Sweden, Canada and the UK can be accounted for by a lack of female representation at the top of the wage distribution.

    Opening remarks
  • Chair: Karen Pence

    Ann Owen, Hamilton College and Judit Temesvary, Federal Reserve Board

    Ann Owen (@HamiltonCollege) presented her paper “Performance effects on gender diversity on bank boards” just published in the Journal of Banking & Finance. Finds that female participation has positive effect on bank performance once a threshold is reached.

    The Performance Effects of Gender Diversity on Bank Boards

    Discussant: Colin P. Green, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

    Discussant slides

    Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

    Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham (@NYFedResearch) looked at female representation at the NBER Summer Institute. Finds rate of paper acceptance is equal across male & female authors, and share of female authors in line share of tenure track professors but lower for assistant profs

    Gender Representation in Economics Across Topics and Time: Evidence from the NBER summer institute

    Discussant: Marcus Noland, Peterson Institute for International Economics

  • Chair: Luc Laeven

    Mark Egan

    Mark Egan (@HarvardHBS) examined gender discrimination in misconduct punishment in the financial advisory industry. Showed females face worse outcomes despite engaging in misconduct that is 20% less costly, and having a substantially lower propensity towards repeat offenses. 

    When Harry Fired Sally: The double standard in punishing misconduct

    Discussant: Renée B Adams, University of New South Wales

    Discussant slides

    Erin Hengel

    Erin Hengal (@UoLManSchool) presented evidence that female authored articles have higher readability scores than male-authored ones, and that gap widens during peer review. Also finds female-authored papers spend six months longer in peer review.

    Publishing While Female: Evidence from peer review that women are held to higher standards - slides

    Publishing While Female: Evidence from peer review that women are held to higher standards - paper

    Discussant: Anne Boring, Erasmus University Rotterdam 

    Discussant slides

  • Chair: Katharine Neiss 

    Janet Currie

    Janet Currie (@Princeton) updated preliminary analysis of the CeMENT mentoring workshop for female academic economists. The assessment found that mentored individuals published more and in higher ranking journals. Those in older cohorts were more likely to achieve the rank of associate and full professor.

    Does Mentoring Improve the Probability of Promotion? An evaluation of the CeMENT mentoring trial

    Discussant: Barbara Petrolongo, Queen Mary University of London 

    Discussant slides

    Ana Lamo

    Ana Lamo (@ecb) showed that career progression for women at the ECB is slower than for men – in large part this can be explained by lower application rates amongst women relative to men. Conditional on application, there was no evidence in gender bias in promotion decisions.

    Discussant: Stephanie Aaronson, Federal Reserve Board

    Discussant slides

  • Chair: Dave Ramsden

    Jill Armstrong/Barbara Stocking/Jayne-Anne Gadhia

    In a panel session, Jill Armstrong & Barbara Stocking (@Cambridge_Uni) looked at different perceptions of career barriers to women + considered practical ways to reduce perception gap. And Jayne-Anne Gadhia (@gadhiaj) talked about her experience leading the “Women in Finance” initiative.

    Collaborating with Men to Build Inclusive Workplace Cultures

This page was last updated 31 January 2023