Norway came one step closer to blazing a trail in Western Europe and appointing a female as chief of Norges Bank after Oystein Olsen's announcement Thursday that he'll step down in February.
His early exit puts Deputy Gov. Ida Wolden Bache in pole position to succeed him running monetary policy for the central bank in the richest Nordic economy, according to Nordea Bank economist Dane Cekov and J.P. Morgan analyst Morten Lund. The finance ministry said it is starting a process to replace Mr. Olsen, with a goal of appointing a new chief in early 2022.
A female successor would make Norway stand out in a continent where the male grip on top monetary jobs remains steadfast. No national eurozone governor is currently a woman, highlighting how European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde's selection remains one of the only examples of governments in the region breaking the mold.
The U.K.'s record is even worse: the Bank of England is set to notch up 333 years of male leadership when Gov. Andrew Bailey finishes his term. Within Europe as a whole, only four countries have female governors: Russia, Serbia, North Macedonia and San Marino.