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They come in at the bottom. They just don't stay until the top.

Deutsche Bank's gender figures illustrate banks' women problem

It's not just bonus numbers that are included in today's Deutsche Bank annual report. As is always the case, the German bank also has a detailed section on its employees. If you're a woman either at DB or elsewhere in the banking industry, they're frankly a bit depressing. 

As the chart below, based on DB's figures show, there are lots of women at Deutsche Bank. It's just that they're in junior jobs. As you go up through the ranks, the proportion of women falls and falls. - And very little real progress has been made for years. 


Deutsche Bank might dispute this on the grounds that there have been fractional increases in the proportion of women working in its most senior ranks. - At managing director level, for example, women were 18.1% of the total in 2018 and 18.4% of the total in 2020. But is a 30 basis point improvement really such a big deal? 

In Deutsche Bank's defence, it's undoubtedly not the only bank with this issue. When Goldman Sachs released its sustainability report for 2019, it said that 49% of its analyst class were women, compared to only 29% of its newly promoted managing directors. 

Why don't women make it to the top? The too facile assumption is that they leave to have families or do something else. In fact, women tell us they leave because they find it hard to get promoted.  "Because most senior people in finance are men, those sponsors will also be male. If you’re a woman who’s been focused on excelling within a role, it can be a struggle to find 10 managing directors (MDs) globally who will sponsor you; you just don’t have that natural network," one successful female MD said here month.

Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: in the first instance. Whatsapp/Signal/Telegram also available. Bear with us if you leave a comment at the bottom of this article: all our comments are moderated by human beings. Sometimes these humans might be asleep, or away from their desks, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. Eventually it will – unless it’s offensive or libelous (in which case it won’t.

Photo by Library of Congress on Unsplash

AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • Mi
    17 March 2021

    All those women cruelly passed over for promotion by the patriarchy should come on over to Morgan Stanley. We'll hire and promote anyone as long as they have ovaries. Actual ability and talent are irrelevant.

  • Gu
    16 March 2021

    Women leave to look after their children, focus on their family, etc. That is just a fact. There is no discrimination and women are certainly not disadvantaged. If anything, they have the upper hand when it comes to being recruited and/or promoted.

  • An
    15 March 2021

    What is the percentage of suitable candidates?

  • An
    15 March 2021

    Most banks have bent over backwards to promote women in the last few years - there really isn't much more that can be done unless they start to actively discriminate against men, which is what many of them already do.

  • An
    14 March 2021

    Although of course virtually every bank has female only networks, and none have male only networks.

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