Women in rural banking equipped with leadership & managerial skills

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Photo: Mrs. Comfort Owusu, Executive Director of ARB Ghana, (2nd right) flanked by other ladies in a group picture after a session

Female staff of rural and community banks across the country have been equipped with managerial and leadership capacity development skills.

The primary objective of the training programme is to support women in the industry to take up managerial and leadership roles and also for leaders of institutions to involve women in decision making.

This according to experts could enable women to take up leadership roles irrespective of their domestic responsibilities as wives and mothers.

The Executive Director of Association of Rural Banks, Ghana Mrs Comfort Owusu in one of her opening remarks during one of the sessions reiterated the need for female staff to mindful of development particularly in their career as bankers.

According to her, the era of male dominance at the top level of the corporate ladder is over and it is about time women got involved in managerial decisions only if they have the leadership and managerial capabilities to do so.

She advised female staff to take such training very seriously and also find other avenues in academia and practical development areas to sharpen their skills in their chosen profession.

It is a known fact that in the Ghanaian workforce, including the financial sector, the proportion of females in the leadership position is smaller as compared to that of their male counterparts.

Various studies have come out with some constraints that prevent women from rising to the top management positions in the workforce.  Notable among the constraints include cultural barriers and gender stereotyping.

People have the perception that women are unable to hold the managerial position because the majority of them lack the required skills and experience.

Others also go through career breaks due to childbirth, lack of mentor or role models, with others unwilling to take up leadership responsibilities due to family obligations, lack of confidence among others and the female staff in the rural and community bank (RCBs) is no exception.

The Association of Rural Banks (ARB) – Ghana and ARB Apex Bank Limited identified this gender imbalance in the managerial positions of most rural and community banks as a major challenge which they have been trying to address.

To help address the challenge, the Association of Rural Banks (ARB) – Ghana requested GIZ, Programme for Sustainable Economic Development (PSED) to provide capacity development training for lower and middle placed female staff of all rural banks in Ghana.

The training was conducted in ten sessions on a zonal basis and was put together by the Association of Rural Banks, Ghana, facilitated by CDC Consult Limited and sponsored by GIZ.

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