The Deputy Governor of the Bank of England apologized for saying the UK economy was in “stages of menopause” after passing its production peak.
Ben Broadbent has been accused of using “lazy, sexist” language, when he compared the current state of the economy by the end of the Victorian era, when the pause between steam technology and the age of electricity, contributed to a sharp drop in performance.
In an interview with “the Telegraph”, said Broadbent, the term used by economic historians to describe this decline was “climax,” which he said basically means “of menopause, but can be applied to both genders. You have passed their production peak”.
Frances O’grady, General Secretary of the TUC, said that the language used Broadbent in an interview, “absolutely inappropriate.”
“There is no need to resort to lazy, sexist comments to describe problems in the economy,” she said.
Broadbent issued a statement on Wednesday morning after his comments attracted widespread criticism: “I apologize for my poor choice of language in an interview with the Telegraph yesterday and regret, resentment.
“I have explained the meaning of the word “climax”, the term used by economic historians to describe the period of low productivity growth during the 19th century. Economic productivity is something that affects all of us, all ages and genders”.
Jane Anne gadhia, CEO virgin money UK, who led a government review on improving gender equality in the financial sector, said: “When I read it, I thought about my own menopause and was sure that he meant that the future is hard work, challenging, renewing, worth fighting for, 100% positive and constantly hot!”
Carolyn Fairbairn, Director General of the Confederation of British industry business lobby group, said in Broadbent’s comments in an interview to distract from the critical issue of weak productivity and living standards.
“This is a bad choice of words very offensive and distracts from real problems,” she said. “The performance was an Achilles ‘ heel of the UK for too long.
“Our priority should be the struggle with low productivity, which can lead to the growth of regional inequality. Deciding this will help to build a strong economy that raises the standard of living and wages for everyone.”
Vivienne Artz, President of women in banking and Finance, said: “women aged 50 years and older are the fastest growing group of employees in the UK. Menopause is experienced by all women, and those in the menopause years account for about 20% of the population.
“To refer to menopause as “the productive peak of the past” in the context of the economy ignores the reality that women are often at the peak of their career during their menopausal years.”
Robert Peston, political editor of ITV, said that Broadbent’s language was “sloppy and potentially offensive”.
Very offensive! Menopausal women are not “unproductive”.
May 15, 2018
Louise Newson, a GP and medical writer, said: “it was a terrible analogy”, while another Twitter user, Rebecca Harvey, said it was a shocking example everydaysexism#.
Broadbent, a former economist at the investment Bank “Goldman Sachs”, is considered a potential successor to Bank Governor mark Carney. As Deputy Governor for monetary policy, he sits on the monetary policy Committee, which is responsible for setting interest rates.
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Carney previously attributed 25% of the gender gap in pay in the Bank – with the staff, the man has paid nearly a quarter more than their female counterparts – the fact that men occupy most senior posts, on Threadneedle street. Of the nine MPC members, only one – Silvana Tenreyro is a woman.
Broadbent gave an interview after official data showed that productivity fell 0.5% in the first three months of 2018, at a time when employment in the UK reached a new record, but growth slowed to 0.1%.