Women’s participation in banking sector on rise

Anisul Islam Noor

8 March, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Women’s participation in banking sector on rise

The banking and non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs) have made significant progress in including more women in their workforce, according to a conducted by Bangladesh Bank (BB).

Six state-owned banks, three specialized commercial banks, 41 private commercial banks and nine foreign commercial banks are operating in the country.

Some 28,078 women are working in banking sector, which is 18.67 per cent of total employees in the sector. At the same time, the number of male employee in the banks is 150,432, according to the January-June 2020 report of BB.

The 41 private commercial banks employ 17,603 female and 93,175 male, and the percentage of women is 18.89 per cent.  The foreign commercial banks employ 978 female and 2949 male staff, taking the percentage of the female workforce to 33.16 per cent.

Some 981 women or 16 per cent are working in 33 non-banking financial institutions (NBFI) in the country. NBFIs have a female workforce of 9.17 per cent in the top-level, 13.55 per cent in mid-level and 17.58 per cent at entry-level jobs, the BB report stated.

The BB study also showed that women’s presence was 9.0 per cent in the banks’ top-level jobs with 15.58 per cent and 16.16 per cent in mid-level and entry-level positions respectively.

The six state-run banks are employing 7670 female and 42,554 male employees, taking the percentage of female workers to 18.02 per cent. 

The specialized banks have 1827 female and 11754 male employees; the percentage of women is 15.54, least in all other banks.

The banks’ boards consist of 13.54 per cent female members, and the rate is 16.16 per cent in foreign commercial banks and 8.70 per cent in state-owned banks.

The BB study showed that number of female staff aged 50 years above is 8.70 percent while the number of female staff aged below 30 has reached 20.71 per cent in the banking sector.

Replying to a quarry, BB Executive Director Laila Bilkis Ara said women employed in the banking sector are working with dignity and honour.

The facilities for the female workforce of banks have been increasing to include daycare centre, transport facility and specific duty hours, she said.

Laila Bilkis has emphasized increasing understanding of female officials and employees with their family members to help women grow and excel in their workplace.     

CDP Executive Director Dr Fahmida Khatun said Bangladesh’s economy is moving forward as women participation has been increasing.

 “Women are doing their job in banks and other financial institutions with trust and honesty. The rate of corruption allegation against the female officials and employees is very thin,” she added.   

A maternity leave facility for six months is available for female officials and employees working in 59 scheduled banks in the country.

The 44 scheduled banks have specific policies against sexual harassment. Some 35 banks have organized awareness training programs on gender equality.

Some 28 banks have set up children's daycare centres.

Five state banks and 10 private banks have set up two separate children daycare centre on the 3rd and 4rth floor at Al-Amin centre in Motijheel for the children of female officials and employees.

Besides, eight banks have signed an agreement with ‘Wee Learn’, a private daycare centre, to provide daycare facilities to the children of banks’ female officials and employees of Gulshan, Niketon and Banasree areas.

Mercantile Bank, Brac Bank, Bangladesh Krishi Bank, Bangladesh Development Bank and Simantho Bank have separate children daycare centre.

The 29 banks have their bus service for female officials and employees.

Among the NBFIs, all of the institutions have a six-month maternity leave facility. 10 NBFIs have specific rules against sexual harassment and established gender equality policies.

Six NBFIs have arranged training and motivational program to prevent sexual harassment at work and establish equality. The 19 NBFIs have their own transport service for female officials and employees.