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    ‘Menopausal’ comment leads to apology from Bank of England deputy governor

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    Ben Broadbent
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    Ben Broadbent
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    Ben Broadbent during the Bank of Englan's quarterly inflation report in November 2017 

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    Ben Broadbent

    Ben Broadbent ‘regrets’ using metaphor to describe ‘past their peak’ economies

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    Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - 12:46pm

    The deputy governor of the Bank of England has apologised for using the word “menopausal” to describe economies that are “past their peak”.

    Ben Broadbent made the comments in an interview with The Daily Telegraph, in reference to a slowdown in productivity in the British economy.

    The deputy governor told the newspaper that “financial experts used the ‘menopausal’ metaphor for economies that were ‘past their peak and no longer so potent’”.

    Professor Sarah Smith, who teaches economics at Bristol University, told the BBC that Broadbent’s word choice “conveys a rather derogatory view of women”, adding: “I’ve never thought of the menopause as not productive”.

    The comparison was criticised as especially tone-deaf given the financial sector’s well-documented dearth of female leaders.

    Broadbent himself sits on the institution’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), “which has been criticised for having only one female member on its nine-strong board”, says the BBC.

    His choice of language also drew scorn on social media, including from female politicians and women’s groups:

    Following the backlash, Broadbent has apologised for employing the metaphor, saying he used it in an attempt to explain the meaning of the word ‘climacteric’, which also refers to the years of declining fertility but applies to both sexes.

    “I’m sorry for my poor choice of language and regret the offence caused,” he said.

    Economy UK business
    Bank of England

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