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ECB to introduce female quota for middle management level

The European Central Bank, the guardian of the euro currency, has said it intends to increase the percentage of female middle management employees. So far, the bank has been dominated by male leadership.

The world of Frankfurt's central bank managers is still firmly in the hands of men. While only one woman has ever made it into the boardroom of the German Bundesbank over the past five and a half decades, there have been two female members on the ECB's governing council since the bank came into being. Today, though, there's not a single woman left there at the top level.

The ECB itself can do little to change that as the highest posts are appointed by policy makers in the eurozone member states.

But ECB Director Jörg Asmussen told Thursday's edition of the German daily "Süddeutsche Zeitung" that the central bank was willing to introduce a female quota for the middle management level.

No lack of qualifications

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"By the end of 2019, we want to have 35 percent female middle-management employees," Asmussen said in officially announcing a decision made at the ECB earlier this year. He added a change of mentality among current managers would be required to bring this about.

The top ECB official emphasized there had been no shortage of suitable applicants in the past either and expected a lot of career opportunities for woman to come with the central bank taking over direct supervision of the eurozone's biggest banks as of next year as part of the bloc's planned banking union.

ECB Director-General for Staff, Budget and Organization, Stephen Keuning, said the only problem had been that female candidates had appeared too shy and modest in job interviews. This is why the bank had laid on a special mentoring program for women, helping them to climb up the career ladder within the institution.

hg/hc (AFP, Reuters)

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