By Malachy Agbo
It appears the push for gender equality in all spheres of national service is gaining momentum in banking, as the Central Bank of Nigeria has directed all money deposit banks in the country to ensure the full integration of women in top management positions.
The CBN governor Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi disclosed this at the National Economic Council meeting held in Abuja last week, saying that the apex bank has directed all banks in the country to ensure that 40 percent of their executive management and 30 percent of their board members are women.
According to a source at CBN, it came to the conclusion that women are used especially for the pursuit of deposit but when it comes to decision making, you hardly find women at top management level.
“Women dominate the relationship banking units of banks and they get all the deposits but where the decisions affecting them are taken, you seldom find them there,” he said.
Also speaking to THISDAY on the condition of anonymity, a head of Human Resources in one of the new generation banks confirmed the directive but disclosed that some banks were finding it difficult to fill the gap because of experience.
“The directive is a welcome development and it will ensure gender equality in our financial institutions dominated by men. However, getting women who are qualified to meet the ratio is a bit tough. But we will get there,” he assured.
Also speaking, a top female executive of a bank said that it was a welcome development because over time women had been sidelined in the scheme of things in the industry.
“For instance, some of us have been lone voices among the executives and you know what that means. But when you have a near balance, issues and policies affecting women especially in the industry and particular institutions can be addressed properly having all the perspectives in place,” she said.
She further state that the unwritten policies of some banks baring ladies from having babies within certain periods of time can be addressed if more women voices are added to the decision making process which she said is key.
“Women are not less intelligent or dull. A number of us women hold some banks because of our efforts and hard work. So there is nothing wrong in empowering women and that will give them a sense of belonging,” she stated.