Alison Rose's Resignation Highlights Gender Imbalance in European Banks

By: GWL Team | Monday, 31 July 2023

Due to Alison Rose's resignation as NatWest's CEO, the gender gap among the region's top banks has come to light. The 25 largest banks in Europe by assets currently only have one woman in leadership positions as a result of her departure. Despite promises to enhance female representation, there are still glaringly few women in senior leadership roles across the industry.

According to a recent Reuters research, the gender balance in these banks' top management teams has somewhat improved. According to the most recent data, the percentage of women in senior management teams increased from 25.6% to 30.6%.

The number of female top executives has increased, but only slowly. Only one other woman has taken the helm of a financial organisation since the research on gender diversity in leadership was published last year: Isabelle Ferrand, who was named CEO of the French cooperative bank Credit Mutuel in May.

Increasing gender diversity in the larger financial services industry is difficult. Women were appointed to 44% of board positions in the 12 months leading up to June 2023, down from 52% the year prior, according to a new EY report, which shows a decline in the hiring of women at the board of directors level in European financial businesses.

Despite the uneven development, experts and proponents of gender diversity stress the need for more women to hold high roles in industry and government. It is stated that variety of thinking and experience fosters creativity and improves business results, which benefits both businesses and the whole economy.