The Ashanti Chapter of Association of Rural Banks has adopted some strategies with its stakeholders as means to balance the male to female ratio in top managerial positions of Rural and Community Banks (RCBs).
Even though women constitute about 55 percent of RCB staff in the Ashanti Region, only a handful hold high-level positions.
This situation has been linked to cultural barriers and gender stereotyping, with people having the perception that women are not able to hold managerial positions because the majority of them lack skill and need experience.
Others go through career breaks due to childbirth, lack of mentors or role-models, with others unwilling to take up leadership responsibilities due to family obligations and lack of confidence among others.
However, speaking at an event to launch the 9th Rural Banking Week celebration for the Ashanti Chapter-Association of Rural Banks in Kumasi, President of the chapter, Dr. Prince Stephen Adom Attakorah, emphasised that the Association has put relevant measures in place to curb the situation.
He said the Association of Rural banks requested GIZ’s Programme for sustainable Economic Development (PSED) to provide capacity development training for lower- and middle-placed female staff of all rural banks in the country.
The female staff of RCBs across the country have been equipped with managerial and leadership capacity development skills to involve them in decision-making.
Dr. Attakorah was speaking on the theme‘Women in Sustainable Rural Banking Business for Economic Growth’, and further stressed some of the essential areas women can control within RCBs. These include: leadership and decision-making; diversity and inclusion; risk-management; economic impact; and good customer relations.
On the way forward, Dr. Attakorah said with all the training and inspiration given to females in the sector, a lot is expected of RCBs in terms of growth and ensuring soundness and sustainability by improving the performance of female staff and women in non-executive positions – to become directors and achieve more in the coming years under the board’s direction to attain its strategic plan.
Meanwhile, President-Ashanti Rural Banks Ladies Association (ARBLASS), Veronica Ackah-Miezah, touching on the inadequate number of females in high-level positions within the RCBs; noting that the trend is gradually diminishing since formation of the ARBLASS.
She noted that ARBLASS has been training the women in quality leadership skills, among other things. She therefore encouraged all women in the RCBs Ashanti Chapter to join them, since it’s a platform where women are groomed to take up high positions in the sector.
Rural Banking week
As part of activities to mark Rural Banking Week, representatives of the various RCBs will hold talks on some selected radio stations in Kumasi to throw more light on the celebration’s theme and promote the banks’ activities.
Also, the Association will make donations to Garden City Special School at Asokore Mampong. The event will be climaxed with a grand durbar of staff, management and the board of directors in Sunyani.