July 5, 2016 / 1:22 PM / in a year

Bank of Canada needs to tackle female analyst shortage: report

A man is reflected in a window while walking past the Bank of Canada office in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, May 25, 2016.Chris Wattie

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Bank of Canada needs to do more to address its shortage of female analysts, according to an internal report prepared shortly after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed the country’s first gender-balanced cabinet last year.

Trudeau's cabinet, which then had 15 men and 15 women, had raised the profile of gender equity in politics. But for the civil service, the issue remains less publicized.

Women form 55 percent of the civil service's 257,034 employees, according to the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. But sectors including the Bank of Canada's analytic departments still suffer from what the Nov. 16 report calls a "gender imbalance."

The bank said Monday the report was provided to its executive council in March. Reuters obtained a copy through Canada's access-to-information laws, under which requests sometimes take weeks to process.

The report did not state how many of its 227 analytic departments staff are female, though it noted women in 2014 formed between 19 percent and 37 percent of hires among its three career streams, and the one requiring a master's degree had the lowest percentage.

Among analytic departments staff that the bank calls “senior professionals,” women in 2015 made up only 26 percent of its 110 members.

A Bank of Canada spokeswoman said women made up 31 percent of those hired for economic- and financial-sector-specialization jobs during the university recruitment campaign last year, up from 2014's 25 percent.

The central bank also said nine women are part of the 23-member executive leadership, and the bank has measures to ensure it is "committed to diversity," though it recognizes more can be done.

The bank said the report was intended in part to "provoke and enable" discussion about gender balance and how the bank can improve its practices.

"It is certainly not an unusual scenario that the bank's talent pipeline of women narrows at more senior career levels," the report read, noting the issue is widespread.

Trudeau's predecessor, Stephen Harper, who was in power for nearly a decade, had six women in his 26-member cabinet when he formed it in 2006.

Trudeau's cabinet now has more women than men, due to the resignation of a male minister in May.

The report's unnamed authors wrote they would elaborate on "possible initiatives" to improve the gender balance at a meeting on March 2.

The bank did not address questions on the meeting or whether the report was connected to Trudeau's cabinet appointments.

Editing by Diane Craft

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