Since the time of the last report of the Executive Board on its gender diversity, profound changes have taken place globally, exposing wide social and economic disparities. The COVID-19 pandemic is not only a human tragedy, causing an immense loss of life, but also an economic shock like no other. Concurrently, in many countries, issues of racial inequality and discrimination are at the forefront of public discourse within governments, communities, private corporations, and public institutions – including the IMF.
At this current stage of acute social and economic stress, it is timely to reaffirm the importance and value of diversity and inclusion of all kinds, and the benefits that it brings, including broader perspectives, new ideas, enhanced decision-making, and stronger performance. The diversity of the IMF’s Executive Board, representing its 189 member countries, enables it to remain responsive to meet the needs of the membership at all times, including during the current unprecedented crisis. Nonetheless, the Executive Board continues to strive to better reflect its membership, through the inclusion of more women as Executive Directors and Alternate Executive Directors.
As noted in the 2019 report to the Board of Governors, the low numbers of women in Executive Director and Alternate Executive Director positions are ongoing causes of concern. Amongst twenty-four Executive Directors and thirty-one Alternate Executive Directors, only six positions are held by women. These numbers can, and should, increase.
The objectives of the Working Group on Gender Diversity (WGGD) in the past year have been to raise awareness of the importance of enhanced gender diversity within the Executive Board and with member country authorities, and to encourage the selection of women to the Executive Board. It has, among other things, conducted outreach to its peers and engaged Executive Directors to work as advocates for gender diversity within their offices and constituencies, and provided information and materials to support discussions on the importance of increased gender diversity. The WGGD has also engaged management to support its efforts and has raised the aspect of gender diversity in the report to the Board of Governors on the Rules for the 2020 Regular Election of Executive Directors.
Annex I. Factsheet
The number of women directors increased by eight percent for the World Bank, by eight percent for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, by six percent for the Bank for International Settlements, and by four percent for the European Central Bank.
There is currently one vacancy in the Alternate Executive Director position.