PFW: Calling Time on Gender Inequality in Public Finance: A gender equality survey on public finance

We have published a gender equality survey which highlights that of 107 respondents from 22 countries, 69% indicated they had experienced gender discrimination during their careers. PublicFinancebyWomen2020

Gillian Fawcett, Co-Founder said, “this is a really disappointing statistic. Gender equality in leadership has the potential to strengthen a country’s competitiveness and economic development. Yet, despite women making up over half of the global population, they have been long overlooked as a vital talent. We need to call time on gender inequality in public finance by investing in data and research to better understand the root causes of inequality and improve how we target those causes of inequality”.

The top three areas of gender discrimination identified in the survey were unconscious bias in the workplace, biased recruitment, selection and promotion processes, and an unsupportive boss.

Sixteen percent of female respondents reported that they had experienced age discrimination and 17% percent of female respondents identified sexual harassment as an issue.

Gender quotas and gender targets for women leaders were seen as the least helpful enablers supporting women’s careers.

Mentoring and coaching were identified by 50% of respondents as the most popular forms of support. Professional networks followed closely behind. Skills development, such as developing leadership skills and having personal development plans were also considered important for career development.  In response Public Finance by Women has launched a worldwide pilot mentoring scheme as it strongly believes mentoring adds value to women’s careers.

There was some more positive news, in that 59% of respondents felt that gender equality is advancing. However, without comparative data we do not know whether this indicates a real improvement.

Overall, the survey results highlight that gender inequality exists in public finance and there are a number of challenges that need to be overcome if women are to make inroads in public finance by reaching leadership positions.  Gillian commented, “It is not about ‘fixing the women. Whilst the survey also highlighted some positives, there is still much further to go if we are to wipe out gender discrimination in public finance completely”.

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