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There is a particular telephone conversation that HSBC global chief economist Janet Henry has down pat. Here’s how it goes: "You get a call from a headhunter," she says. Then Henry inevitably finds herself saying, "No, I’m not interested." But it doesn’t end there. "They always say, ‘Do you know anyone that might be?’ I give them men’s names because I’m always curious to see if they’ll say — and they do say — ‘Yes, but do you know any women?’" As one of a handful of women leading economic research departments at global banks, Henry is well-positioned to observe the recent shift in demand for greater gender diversity within her profession. She looks back on her own experience as she sips tea from a disposable cup in a noisy cafe at HSBC headquarters in London’s Canary Wharf. When she joined the bank in 1996, she was the only woman on its global economics team. Now women account for 13 of her 39-strong global group. While there’s still nothing like equality in numbers with men, women ...

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