Number of female German bank CEOs fell in 2021, study shows

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The skyline of the banking district is seen in Frankfurt, September 18, 2014. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

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FRANKFURT, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Only eight of Germany's largest 100 banks had women as their chief executives in late 2021, down from 10 a year earlier, a German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) report found.

During the same period, the number of female CEOs at Germany's top 200 companies based on revenue grew, highlighting a long-standing gap that still grips the banking sector.

Germany's new government has vowed to narrow its gender pay gap, which is one of the widest in the European Union and most stark in the finance sector of the bloc's biggest economy.

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Carola von Schmettow, one of Germany's most prominent female bankers, retired last year as head of HSBC in Germany and was replaced by a man.

While female representation on bank management boards and in top leadership roles grew to 13.2% from 10.5% in 2020, it lagged 15% representation across industries, the DIW report said.

DIW has said in the past that a reason for this discrepancy is that people in the financial sector, more so than in other industries, are disproportionately rewarded for working extremely long and inflexible hours, which benefits men.

Calls for action for greater gender balance from politicians and investors have grown, with critics saying that new policies to diversify boards in Germany have fallen short.

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Reporting by Tom Sims; Editing by Alexander Smith

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