Two thirds of the EU’s smaller banks typically have only men as executive directors even though lenders are required to have a policy on diversity that looks at gender, age, professional and educational background.
Big lenders are also required to set a target for an under-represented gender, in practice women, the European Banking Authority (EBA) said this week after carrying out a study that looked at data from 834 banks for 2018.
The EBA also said that lenders with men and women in top roles were likely to be more profitable, before adding that it will consider the need to issue guidelines on improving diversity.
The overall representation of women in governing bodies has slightly improved, reaching 15.13% in 2018 compared to 13.63% in 2015.
Figures in Cyprus do show some improvement with the percentage of newly-hired female executive directors in 2015-2016 standing at 6.67% compared to 23.53% in 2017 – 2018.
The EU average for female executive directors was 18.29% in 2015-2016 and 21.18% in 2017-2018. Lithuania recorded the highest percentage of women in the banking system which was 60% in 2017-2018, and Germany the lowest with 10.77%.
In the category of non-executive female, the percentage in Cyprus rose to 36.84% in 2017-2018 from 15.63% in 2015-2016. Cyprus is well above the EU average of 27.99%.
In Greece, the representation of women in this category was very low – at 15.79% in 2017-2018 – which is significantly lower compared to 2015-2016 which stood at 19.51%.
In France the percentage of women in non-executive positions stood at 49.52% and 36.36% in Finland.
As for senior executives with over 20 years of experience in the financial sector, the percentage in Cyprus stood at 76.67%, with the EU average being 59.07%.
In Greece, the figure was 82.14% and 88.31% in Spain. For non-executive directors with experience in the financial sector, Cyprus’ percentage was 61.80% with the EU average being 50.10%.
In terms of age, non-executive directors, on average, were older than executive ones. However, a few member states have more non-executive directors than executives under the age of 40.