Washington: As the International Monetary Fund (IMF) prepares to replace its disgraced former chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, women employees, protesting the 'prevalent male culture'there have called for a female boss at the helm of the financial institution, a media report said.

A TV channel has claimed to have obtained e-mails which suggest the female staff have for long been complaining about the male culture at the IMF and they now want a woman to run the global economic organisation.

In fact, in the e-mails exchanged among numerous female workers at the IMF late last week in response to a 'New York Times' article titled, 'At IMF, Men on Prowl and Women on Guard', women are bemoaning a "male dominated workplace" where "gender stats speak for themselves".

One female worker in her e-mail asks whether the IMF would be better off with a woman in charge "to end such a negative impression". She tells colleagues: "We now have a good opportunity to voice it out." Another e-mail reads: "Would be naïve to pretend that there is no glass ceiling."

Responding to the leaked e-mails, IMF spokesman Bill Murray told the channel that the fund "isn't satisfied with the level of diversity at senior management level and is working to improve this."

The IMF is to begin accepting nominations for the replacement of 62-year-old Strauss-Kahn who resigned last week in the wake of allegations that he tried to rape a chambermaid in his suite at a New York hotel on May 14. He was arrested by the police, but  is now out on bail. He denies the charges.

Britain said over the weekend it would back French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde for the position. The fund said on Friday that it aims to complete the selection process by
June 30.

(Agencies)