Gender Diversity on European Bank Boards: More Work Still to be Done

Banking Organizations


DBRS Morningstar has published a commentary focusing on women’s representation at the board and executive levels of European Banks.

Key highlights include:

  • Gender diversity is improving at board level, but lagging behind in executive leadership roles. In 2021, based on a sample of 43 European Banks, women represented 37% of board member seats, this number decreased to 26% when considering women on executive management teams.

  • There is a lack of female CEOs and female chairs on bank boards in Europe. Only five of the 43 European Banks had a female CEO in 2021, and only four banks had a female chair of the board.

  • We note a positive correlation between female board representation and credit ratings for the sample of banks used in this analysis.

“Our analysis shows that gender diversity is higher at banks with higher credit ratings,” notes Charlotte Cervin, Senior Analyst at Global FIG, DBRS Morningstar. “Women represented on average 40% of board seats for banks rated in the AA (low) to A (low) range compared to only 30% for banks rated BBB or lower.”