Women’s entry into banks and NBFIs declines amid 10% quota withdrawal

Though the employment of women has marked a rise in different sectors in recent years, the average ratio of women employees in banks and non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs) saw a decline by 2.87 per cent in January-June 2021.

Bangladesh Bank (BB) gender equality report January-June 2021 shows that the number of women employees stood at 29,513 or 15.8 per cent out of total 186,784 employees in banks and NBFIs.

During the same period in 2020, the number of women employees was 28,078 or 18.67 percent of the total 178,510 employees in the banks and NBFIs.

The BB statistics show that the average ratio of women’s employees decreased by 2.87 per cent to 15.80 per cent in January-June of 2021, though the total number of women employees grew up to 29513 in the first half of 2021 from 28078 in January-June 2020.

The opportunities in the workplace for women have widened in Bangladesh as awareness grows in both public and private sectors to achieve gender equality as part of sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Bangladesh is placed 65th among 156 countries in the latest ‘Global Gender Gap Report, prepared by World Economic Forum. Such progress has been possible for creation of opportunities for women’s participation in the workplace and increase in the economic benefits level.

Laila Bilkis Ara, secretary Institute of Bankers, Bangladesh (IBB) and former executive director of BB told UNB that the number of women employees in banking is decreasing after withdrawal of 10 per cent quota for women in the recruitment.

She said in the perspective of Bangladesh, a girl cannot get enough time for job preparation after graduation as most guardians prefer to marry their daughter after finishing higher degree.

Women’s entry into banks and NBFIs declines amid 10% quota withdrawal

Besides, the numbers of girls going abroad for higher education have increased in recent times with a portion of them would have joined the banking jobs if they did not go abroad, Laila said.

Executive Director of CDP Dr. Fahmida Khatun said the women employment is usually increasing with the developing socio-economic scenario of the country and decreasing the ratio of women employment does not match from that calculation.

She focused on the need to study on why the ratio of women employment has been decreasing in the banking sector.

Bangladesh Bank’s spokesperson Dr. Serajul Islam told UNB that women employment has increased in the banking sector following the central bank’s initiative of reducing the gender gap in banks and NBFIs.

The BB is still working to ensure a sound environment in the workplace of banks and NBFIs, maternity leave, day care facility for women’s employees.

Replying to a query Serajul said he needs time to get information on decreasing ratio of women employment in the banks and NBFIs.

In January-June 2021, at six state-owned 6 banks the number of women employees stood 8023 or 15.87 per cent of total 50,567 employees that ratio was 18.02 per cent in (January-June) 2020, three specialized state banks (Bangladesh Krishi Bank, Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank and Probashi Kallyan Bank) number of women’s stood 1828 or 13.78 per cent of total 13305 employees that ratio was 15.58 per cent earlier.

Among the 42 private commercial banks the women employees stood 18,722 or 15.72 percent of total 119,117 employees, down from 18.89 per cent in the previous report.

Among the nine foreign banks in Bangladesh the number of women employees stood at 940 or 24.77 per cent of total 3795 employees compared to 33.16 percent of women employee in the previous report.

Source: United News of Bangladesh