The European Central Bank, under fire for being largely a men's club, plans to double the number of women in its top ranks, it announced in a statement on Thursday.
At the end of last year the ECB was the target of criticism over its gender policy at the time of a board appointment.
The ECB's “Executive Board has decided to introduce gender targets with the aim of doubling the share of women in management,” it said in a statement.
“By end of 2019, 35 percent of middle management positions ... should be held by women,” the statement said.
It listed the functions affected as heads of division, deputy heads of division, heads of section, senior advisers and advisers - and 28 percent of senior management positions - directors general, deputy directors general, directors and principal advisers.
The share of women in middle management positions at present was 17 percent, while women held 14 percent of senior management positions, the ECB said.
“In order to reach the gender targets, the ECB is implementing a gender diversity action plan,” it said.
The statement was issued after similar comments by executive board member Joerg Asmussen in a newspaper interview earlier.
“Decisive for the success of such a transformation is a change in mentality of the ECB's current leaders,” Asmussen told the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
Only two women have ever sat on the ECB's decision-making governing council. But the body, which currently has 23 members, is completely male at present.
It was for that reason, that the European parliament openly opposed the nomination of Luxembourg's Yves Mersch to the executive board at the end of last year. - AFP