Podcast: San Fran Fed’s Daly on gender inequality in central banks

Mary Daly on the importance of role models in improving central banks’ gender balance

Earlier this month, Central Banking welcomed the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco's director of research, Mary Daly, for CB On Air's inaugural podcast. In the first of a bi-monthly series entitled Womenomics, Daly discusses the issue of gender inequality in the central banking community, drawing on her own experiences and some of the initiatives currently being implemented at her own institution. 

With less than 10% of the world's 189[1] central bank governor positions occupied by a woman, the central banking community is currently facing a gender crisis as women fail to move up into senior positions. But this issue is not new, and Daly says it is time for central banks to sit up and take notice. 

But Daly argues that central banks cannot afford to sit idle. “Central banks need to reflect the populations they serve,” Daly says. 

Daly's own story is proof women can get there. With a PhD in economics, Mary joined the San Fran Fed as an economist in 1996 – a profession largely dominated by men at the time. Over her career she has risen through the ranks to hold positions in both the microeconomic and macroeconomic departments, following in the footsteps of Janet Yellen. 

Never underestimate the power of a role model, Daly says as she reflects on the success of the San Fran Fed’s own mentoring programme. Whether there is a Fed presidential run in Daly's future, we will have to wait and see. 


00:00 Intro

02:30 Importance of role models

07:10 Retaining female talent 

10:00 Walking in Yellen's footsteps 

15:10 Are gender targets necessary?

21:20 Female governors on the horizon

To hear the full interview, listen in the player above, or download. Future podcasts in our CB On Air: Womenomics series will be uploaded to centalbanking.com. You can also visit the main page here.  

[1] This includes the world’s 177 central banks and the 12 regional Federal Reserve banks in the US. 

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