Bangladesh Bank Report Shows a Rise in Women’s Participation in Banks

Bangladesh Bank Report Shows a Rise in Women's Participation in Banks

The half-yearly report of Bangladesh Bank shows a significant increase in women’s participation in the banking sector which has increased by 6.89 percent. Currently, there are 1,046 women employees in non-bank financial institutions, which was only seven in December 2021.

The report shows that there has been an increment of 31,548 thousand women officials in the banking sector, which was 29,513 in June 2021. Going more into numbers, female employees make up 29.54 percent at foreign banks, 19.21 percent at private banks, 16.4 percent at state-run banks, and 14.27 percent at specialized banks.

This number is somewhat higher than 16 percent of the total human resources in this sector. But still, there is a poor view in terms of women in the banking sector’s top position, with only 13.56 percent of women working as a board member in the time period of January to June 2022, where 15.91 percent of women working as board member in foreign commercial banks and only 4 percent in specialized banks.

Moreover, the report states that gender equality in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) makes this issue more critical for achieving the target of the involvement of women in every sector.

According to the director of the Chief Economist’s Unit of the Bangladesh Bank, Rokeya Khatun, there are several key factors that play a vital role in the development of women’s participation in the banking sector. Some of them are: better job security compared to other sectors, maternity leave, better transportation facilities, etc, making the banking sector more attractive for women for their job preference.

However, the report of the central bank finds that child daycare centers, policy formulation for sexual harassment prevention/awareness, travel facilities, and gender equality training season are also contributing factors to women’s increased participation in this sector, with a change in the workplace for women in specialized commercial banks greater than in state-owned, foreign, and private banks.

Although daycare centers and other lucrative facilities existed, the number of women grew relatively slowly due to better transportation and gender awareness training. Additionally, bank loans to women entrepreneurs have increased, with a total credit of Tk 1,0445 crore or 4.45% of the total loan amount for the cottage, micro, small, and medium enterprise (CMSME) sector at the end of June, compared to Tk 8,801 crore or 4.08% of the total loan amount in June last year.

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