Bank of Africa was awarded for contributing to diversity and inclusion, at the First Ghana Women in Finance and Investment Awards 2021, which took place on Saturday 11th December 2021 at the Alisa Hotel.
The summit and awards event which was organised by Chartered Global Investment Analyst (CGIA) in collaboration with the Women in Finance and Investment Network brought together women in the Finance and Investment Sector who took turns to share their life stories and had discussions on pertinent issues such as career growth, juggling work life with family and social life, developing a savings culture.
Present at the Summit were the MD of Absa Bank, Mrs. Abena Osei-Poku, CEO of Nimed Capital, Mrs. Abena Brigidi, the CFO for MTN Ghana, Mrs. Antoinette Kwofie and many others.
According to the organizers, Bank of Africa was selected for this award because of its conscious efforts in grooming women in the Bank to take up managerial positions.
They believe if this was replicated in all the financial and investment institutions, there would be more women occupying managerial positions.
The Acting Head of Human Resources at Bank of Africa, Adwoa Boateng Addo, stated that, Bank of Africa places a lot of premium on Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) which are underpinned by the UN Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs).
SDG 5- Gender Equality – which primarily addresses biases and also, calls for the full participation of women and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making, has been a major drive for the Bank towards addressing inequality in the finance industry.
According to her, the Management of Bank of Africa, has deliberately set a Gender Equality Agenda across all levels of its human resources management chain. The Bank is one of the few institutions in Ghana to have benefited from a Gender Equality training facilitated by Trainers from the International Labour Organization.
As part of practical efforts to develop women for higher responsibilities in the Bank, Bank of Africa has identified several female colleagues at different levels of the organisation with the passion to lead and have inducted them into an all-female leadership development program known as the “BOA Ghana Women’s Mentoring Program”. This program has nurtured a lot of participants, with some assuming various managerial roles and are performing exceptionally well.
When asked if the Bank has faced any challenges since the implementation of the program, Mrs. Adwoa admitted that, though a laudable program, most of the female staff are not able to make time for the coaching and mentoring sessions.
One of their biggest challenges is having to juggle work with family life.
To curb this problem, she said, discussions were ongoing to create a fine balance to ensure that enough women in the bank are enrolled on the program to enable them compete in this competitive industry.
Mrs. Akofa Dakwa, the Executive Head of Enterprise Risk Management at Bank of Africa, who was also a Moderator at the Summit, acknowledged that there has been a significant increase in the number of women at the lower level in the Banking and Financial Sector, but conscious efforts have to be made to employ more women into managerial positions. She believes that, “women are endowed with equal potentials and when given the chance can perform”.
Mrs. Akofa Dakwa encouraged women to work hard to “earn seats in the Board Rooms”.
She also called on banks and other corporate bodies to create various avenues and the enabling environment for women to realise their full potentials.