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  • Joint Bank of England, Federal Reserve Board and European Central Bank conference

Gender and career progression

Monday, 21 October 2019

Press room C5.01, ECB main building, Frankfurt am Main

The conference will feature research on issues that women face in career advancement and on initiatives to address the gender gap. The conference is the second in a series organised jointly by the European Central Bank, the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve Board.

Information on the 2018 conference at the Bank of England Photos from the 2019 conference


* indicates the presenter

Parts of the conference, i.e. the Keynote speech at 9:00 CET, the Panel discussion at 15:45, and Session IV starting at 17:00 CET, will be livestreamed.

Registration and coffee

Keynote speech

Welcome remarks and chair: Luc Laeven, European Central Bank

What Works: Gender Diversity by Design

Iris Bohnet, Harvard University


Session I: Employers

Chair: Julia Giese, Bank of England


The Gender Promotion Gap: Evidence from Central Banking

The study explores career progression and promotion patterns at the European Central Bank (ECB) using confidential anonymised personnel data. Women at the ECB are less likely to apply for promotion, which is partially explained by an aversion to competing, but are more likely to be selected upon application. The strong salary performance of women after promotion suggests that their selection was on merit rather than due to positive discrimination.

  • Laura Hospido, Banco de España and Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)
  • Luc Laeven, European Central Bank and Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
  • Ana Lamo*, European Central Bank

Discussant: Raquel Fernández, New York University


Corporate Gender Culture

The paper constructs measures of corporate gender culture by applying computational linguistic models to public reports submitted by Australian firms on their gender diversity. The most robust predictor of both women’s representation in higher levels of the firm and of firm performance is whether the firm offers inclusive human capital development opportunities to all staff.

  • Renée Adams, University of Oxford and the Academic Female Finance Committee (AFFECT) of the American Finance Association
  • Ali C. Akyol*, University of Melbourne, University of Ottawa
  • Pauline Grosjean, University of New South Wales

Discussant: Pamela Stone, City University of New York

General discussion
Coffee break

Session II: Social and cultural influences

Chair: Lisa Dettling, Federal Reserve Board


What Prevents Women from Reaching the Top?

The paper uses rich data on all business, economics and engineering graduates in Sweden and shows that slow career progression in the five years after the birth of a woman’s first child is a substantial factor in the shortage of women in executive positions. Women who eventually reach executive positions appear to be better qualified than their male peers.

  • Matti Keloharju, Aalto University, CEPR and Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)
  • Samuli Knüpfer, BI Norwegian Business School and IFN
  • Joacim Tåg*, IFN

Discussant: Alexandra Niessen-Ruenzi, University of Mannheim


Gender Promotion Gaps: Career Aspirations and Early Workplace Experiences

A national representative and longitudinal survey of US lawyers indicates that a gap in early-career aspirations explains a sizeable share of the under-representation of women among law firm partners. Aspirations are affected by early work experiences and, in particular, early experiences of discrimination.

  • Ghazala Azmat*, Sciences Po and CEPR
  • Vicente Cunat, London School of Economics and CEPR
  • Emeric Henry, Sciences Po and CEPR

Discussant: Astrid Kunze, Norwegian School of Economics

General discussion
Buffet lunch

Session III: The climate in the economics profession

Chair: Ana Lamo, European Central Bank


Gender Gaps in Economics: Evidence from Submissions to Conferences

Papers with all female authors are 3.2% less likely to be accepted for conferences than papers with all male authors, even after controlling for a number of confounding factors. The gap is driven entirely by male referees.

  • Laura Hospido*, Banco de España and IZA
  • Carlos Sanz, Banco de España

Discussant: Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln, Goethe University Frankfurt


Gender and Co-authorship at the Federal Reserve Board

Career progression in economics depends in part on research output, which in turn depends in part on co-authorships. This paper examines more than 3,000 working papers authored by Federal Reserve economists and shows that economists are more likely to co-author with other economists of the same gender. The authors’ model shows how this gender bias in co-authorship may result in lower observed productivity and career progression for women.

  • Deepa D. Datta*, Federal Reserve Board
  • Robert Vigfusson, Federal Reserve Board

Discussant: Giulia Sestieri, Banque de France


Gender and the Dynamics of Economics Seminars

A distinctively aggressive culture pervades the seminars at which economists present their work. This study codes the interactions between speakers and their audiences at several hundred seminars and shows that women speakers have a greater share of their seminar time taken up by audience members and are more likely to be asked questions that are considered hostile.

  • Pascaline Dupas, Stanford University
  • Alicia Modestino*, Northeastern University
  • Muriel Niederle, Stanford University
  • Justin Wolfers, University of Michigan

Discussant: Karen Mumford, University of York

General discussion
Coffee break

Panel discussion: Women in economics – current statistics and promising solutions

Moderator: Amanda Bayer, Federal Reserve Board, Swarthmore College, and Committee on Equity, Diversity, and Professional Conduct (CEDPC) and Committee on the Status of Minority Groups in the Economics Profession (CSMGEP) of the American Economic Association (AEA)


  • Sarah Smith, University of Bristol and Royal Economic Society’s Women’s Committee
  • Guido Friebel, Goethe University Frankfurt and Standing Committee on Women in Economics (WinE) of the European Economic Association (EEA)
  • Renée Adams, University of Oxford and AFFECT
  • Rhonda Sharpe, Women’s Institute for Science, Equity and Race (WISER)

Session IV

Chair: Philip Lane, European Central Bank


Diversity and Pay

Andy Haldane, Bank of England
Speech Presentation

Pay gaps in the UK have decreased between 1994 and 2019 for both ethnicity and gender, albeit at a decreasing rate since the financial crisis. Ethnic minority women earn less not only compared to ethnic men, but also all other females. This paper also explores how factors such as education, occupation, and sector of employment amongst others can account for differences in pay across gender and ethnicity and over time.


Closing remarks

Chair: Brian Doyle, Federal Reserve Board

  • Luis de Guindos, Vice-President of the European Central Bank
  • Michelle Bowman, Member of the Federal Reserve Board (video)
Drinks reception

Note: Posters that describe the initiatives of, and draw on the data collected by, the EEA, RES, AEA, AFFECT, WISER, Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum, and the ECB women’s network will be displayed.

This programme may be subject to change without notice.

Audiovisual notice: Please note that media will be attending and photography and filming activities will take place during the event.

General information

Conference venue

European Central Bank
Main building, Press room C5.01, Grossmarkthalle
Sonnemannstrasse 20
60314 Frankfurt am Main

+49 69 1344 0
Fax: +49 69 1344 6000

Conference language



Participants are requested to arrange their own transfers, unless indicated otherwise.

Session timings

Presenter (20 minutes), discussant (10 minutes), discussion (15 minutes)

Conference organisers
  • Brian Doyle, Federal Reserve Board
  • Julia Giese, Bank of England
  • Luc Laeven, European Central Bank
  • Ana Lamo, European Central Bank
  • Katharine Neiss, Bank of England
  • Karen Pence, Federal Reserve Board

Gudrun Becker
Directorate General Research
Monetary Policy Research Division

+49 69 1344 7205
Email: Gender_Conference@ecb.europa.eu

Scientific committee

Sriya Anbil, Amanda Bayer, Carol Bertaut, Lisa Dettling, Brian Doyle, Eric Engstrom, Neil Ericsson, Mahmoud Fatouh, Julia Giese, Sarena Goodman, Luca Guerrieri, Luc Laeven, Ana Lamo, Anna Lipinska, Traci Mach, Katharine Neiss, Thomas Papavranoussis, Karen Pence, Gisela Rua, Chiara Scotti, Stéphane Verani, Laura Wallis, Andrew Whitworth.