A deputy governor of the Bank of England has apologised for his ‘poor choice of language’ after he described the UK economy as ‘menopausal’ in an interview published today by the Daily Telegraph.
Deputy for monetary policy Ben Broadbent told the paper that a decade-long slump in British productivity may parallel a period in the 1880s described by economic historians as ‘climacteric’.
He added the word could be interpreted as meaning ‘menopausal, but can apply to both genders...you’ve passed your productive peak’.
He added: ‘I once got an economist into the [Monetary Policy Committee] to explain the origins of the word “climacteric”. As soon as he started talking to all these middle aged men – about [how] it means you’re past your peak and you’re no longer so potent – they all said: “we understand”.’
He later issued an apology for using the analogy. The Bank of England is currently on the defensive about its handling of gender issues, and was recently showed to pay its average female employees 24% less than their male colleagues, due to an under-representation of women at the top.
The Treasury Select Committee has warned the bank that it would cease to sign off on senior appointments at the bank if it did not do more to promote diversity.
According to an FT analysis, out of the 67 top roles at the organisation just eight are held by women.
At the end of 2017 the BoE’s regulatory unit pledged to drop gendered prefixes and other terminology such as ‘chairman’ and ‘grandfathering’.