Photo by Amy Hirschi via Unsplash.

60% of commercial banks don’t have women in C-suite roles

No woman was appointed CEO of a commercial bank over the past year.

Women leadership in commercial banks globally worsened in 2024, with just over 1 in 10 of all CEOs being women.

The latest Gender Balance Index (GBI) revealed that just 12% of all CEOs in the commercial banks it monitors are women– backsliding from 16% in the 2023 index, according to The Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF). 

This comes as there were no new women leaders appointed CEO between February 2023 and 2024, out of the 9 CEO positions that opened up in commercial banks, OMFIF found.

The share of women in C-suite positions across all banks also declined to 15% in 2024, from 18% in 2023. Notably, 60% of banks don’t have any women in C-suite positions at all– highlighting the sparse pipeline of future female leaders.

Slow progress matters as women leadership often drives positive changes in gender balance across senior positions, said OMFIF. 

“In commercial banks led by women, GBI scores have increased by 24 points on average since 2021, compared to six points for those led by men. The share of women in C-suite positions in pension funds grew three times faster in funds led by women compared to those led by men between 2022 and 2024,” the report noted.

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“Biggest” jump in governors is just a 1 point increase 
The number of female governors in central banks rose to 29 in the 2024 index, from just 23 in the 2023 index, the “biggest annual jump” since the inception of its Gender Balance Index (GBI), OMFIF said.

This equates to a 1 percentage point (ppt) increase. Women also still make up less than 1 in 5 of central bank governors in the world, with 16% of the 335 central banks led by a woman. 

Sovereign funds fared even worse– just 10% of those in OMFIF’s sample are under women leadership.

The declining proportion corresponds to the low number of women appointed in leadership positions.Out of the 39 new central bank governors in the index, only 7 are women. 

“Amongst the top 20% of earners in central banks, only 27% are women,” noted Mariarosaria Comunale, economist, International Monetary Fund.

Commercial banks and sovereign funds appointed no new women amongst new CEO appointments. 

Pension funds have the highest share of women in the top rank – rising to 28% from 24% in 2023. But even they only appoint 2 women to lead their organisations during the index’s measured timeframe, out of the 9 new CEOs that were appointed.

The OMFIF GBI 2024 covered 6,540 individuals across 335 institutions, 185 central banks, 50 commercial banks, 50 pension funds, and 50 sovereign funds.

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