Gender, age and nationality diversity in UK banks

Staff working papers set out research in progress by our staff, with the aim of encouraging comments and debate.
Published on 07 July 2021

Staff Working Paper No. 929

By Joel Suss, Marilena Angeli and Peter Eckley

Using a novel regulatory dataset, we study board and senior manager diversity of gender, age, and nationality in UK banks. Gender diversity increased steadily over the last two decades, albeit from a very low base and to only 20% by the end of 2020. Moreover, we find evidence of a ‘glass ceiling’, with the proportion of females increasing more slowly in the most influential roles. Age and nationality diversity changed less over time. Empirical results suggest that gender and nationality diversity are related to positive risk and performance outcomes, whereas the reverse is true for age diversity. However, these findings are derived from analysing differences between banks, which exhibit substantially more variation than changes in diversity within banks over time. When we only exploit variation in diversity within banks, we do not find any relationship between diversity and outcomes.

Gender, age and nationality diversity in UK banks

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