Despite being seen as a woman friendly industry, majority of top positions in the banking industry for years have been occupied by men. In recent times however, the trend appears to be changing.
Walk into your bank and you are likely to see some impressive amount of women occupying top positions.
A roll call of the members of boards of almost all the banks in the country shows at least a female member.
The number increases with most management teams of banks.
For example, 7 out of the 21 members of the management team of Fidelity bank are women, 5 out of 13 for United Bank for Africa (UBA) and 3 out of 12 for Stanchart bank Ghana.
Banking consultant, Nana Otuo Acheampong told Citi Business News, the numbers are likely to double up in a few years.
“If you take out the MD position there are quite a number of general management positions because you know in the banking industry that’s where you rise up to and you move to the MD position and there are quite a sizeable number of women occupying these general positions. And I think gradually you will see some of them rising to come to the level of managing directors,” he explained.
Four bank CEOs are women
Perhaps, the greatest feat achieved by women in the banking industry is the appointment of four of their own to mange four top banks in the country.
The four are Patience Akyianu for Barclays Bank Ghana, Abiola Bawuah of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Subu Giwa-Amu for International Commercial Bank (ICB) and Nilla Serlomey for Merchant bank
But what is accounting for this impressive inroads being made by women in the banking sector?
Nana Otuo Acheampong further explained that many of the women have now opted to become career women.
He said: “Our banking industry has been having women for a long time until recently some of them did not want to be career women because of family commitments but now we are getting into a situation where more women are becoming career women.”
Breakthrough occurred in 2004
You may say that of the over 25 banks in the country only four women as bank heads is not impressive, an assertion that is dismissed by stakeholders in the industry.
The increase in the numbers is actually a major feat, the breakthrough for women first occurred in 2004, when Margaret Mwanakatwe was appointed Managing Director and CEO of Barclays Bank Ghana.
It was the first time in the history of the country that a woman was appointed the MD of a bank.
Then came the appointment of Peal Esua Mensah as the deputy MD of UT Bank in 2011, two years after the break through.
Today, four women are MD’s of four banks in the country and industry players believe the numbers are likely to double in a few years.
Managing director of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Abiola Bawuah is one of the four women agrees.
“Yes, it’s going to be women do not only leads with just their heads but with their hearts as well and I think you need to be compassionate to your staff and I think women have consistently demonstrated that. I believe looking at the sterling performance of women leaders that is what is going to encourage other people to want to use women in their organizations. People are beginning to accept women more easily and women need to believe in themselves.”
Glass ceiling shattered
Nana Otuoa Acheampong also told Citi Business News, women rising to the top is long overdue saying, “it’s long overdue when you take the population of staff in the banking industry women form the majority, for them to have worked so hard over the years now the recognition is coming and these four women all rose through the ranks to the top. So this is good now the glass ceiling is being shattered as far as the banking industry is concerned.”
So as the months and indeed years go by, do not be surprised to see women fully take over the banking industry
By: Vivian Kai Mensah/citifmonline.com/Ghana