The number of women employees in the country’s banking sector has increased to 32,567 — 16.32 per cent of the total bank employees — till June 2023 since December last year, marking a slight rise in their contribution to the industry.
In December 2022, the number of female employees in the country’s banks was 31,939.
Compared to that, the number of women bank employees rose by 1.96 per cent until June 2023, according to a publication on gender equality released by Bangladesh Bank (BB) on Monday.
On the other hand, the number of female employees on the boards of banks slightly decreased to 14.05 per cent of the total number of board members in June. In December last year, it was 14.22 per cent.
Reacting to the latest data, Trust Bank Managing Director (MD) and CEO Humaira Azam told The Business Post, “In general, women face many obstacles at the workplace. Many banks do not recruit women employees thinking they won’t be able to do fieldwork. But that’s not the case and the situation should not be like this.”
An MD of another bank, requesting anonymity, also told The Business Post that banks generally do not want to hire women employees due to several reasons. “One of them is that banks have to give female employees long maternity leaves. Also, many women don’t show interest in doing fieldwork.
“That’s why banks tend to recruit fewer women than men and the contribution of female employees in the banking sector is low.”
A total of 61 banks are currently operating in Bangladesh.
According to BB data, until June 2023, there were a total of 1,99,506 employees working in the country’s banking sector. Among them, 1,66,939 are men and 32,567 are women.
Until June, the state-owned banks had 7,946 women employees, which is 16.19 per cent of the total number of employees — 49,072.
The specialised banks had 1,772 women employees, which is 14.79 per cent of the total number of employees — 11,976.
The private banks had 21,879 women employees, which is 16.27 per cent of the total number of employees — 1,34,435.
The foreign banks had 970 women employees, which is 24.11 per cent of the total number of employees — 4,023.
The central bank reviews the gender equality indicators of banks and financial institutions on a six-monthly basis and encourages these entities to take necessary steps in this regard, emphasising gender equality and women's empowerment in the financial sector.