* Urges Workplace diversity
With Nigeria scoring low in gender gap, the role of women in building the nation has been emphasised as First Bank of Nigeria says it is working towards increasing gender balance in the workplace and producing its first female chief executive.
In a statement MD and chief executive of the Bank, Adesola Adeduntan at the bank’s celebration of the International Women Day in conjunction with the First Woman Network in Lagos.
Former president and CEO of the African Finance Corporation, Andrew Alli who was one of the speakers at the event had noted that more is needed to be done in promoting gender balance in the country which he said had fallen even below its low score in terms of addressing gender imbalance.
It is a pity that Nigeria is falling down on gender diversity. Global gender gap study shows that Nigeira is at 139 out of 153. If you look at the recent elections the number of women within the senate and hose of reps have actually fallen from the very low levels that they were before. It is something that really needs to be addressed” he stated.
In his welcome address the MD/CEO of First Bank, Adesola Adeduntan noted that the bank had launched the First Woman Network in 2019 to promote an enabling environment for women to thrive and “be the best that they can be.”
“The singe objective is creating an enabling environment that allows our women to blossom thrive and be the best they can be such that they can contribute quota to achieving our vision. The theme of the 2023 IWD is ‘Embrace Equity’ and it is focused on how do we ensure that we promote fairness justice and create an inclusive environment that allows all to thrive at work.
“At First Bank, we have made very good progress in addressing gender imbalance. We are not yet where would like to be but we are very clear in terms of the direction of travel. We are very clear in terms of what we are doing to ensure that we have more women go through the pipeline and get to the top.
“Today we have female executives amongst other levels, but our objective remains that in the very near future we would have the very first female CEO. I see the brains, the resilience, the tenacity and urge and hunger to succeed which is more important. The first bank leadership team is fully committed to supporting women to become the best that can be.”
On her part, the head of the First Woman Network, Olamide Martins, stressed the need for more female participation in the information and technology space. According to her, women currently hold about 27 per cent of tech related jobs.
“We are underrepresented in STEM, science technology, engineering and mathematics. This gap can be bridged and it starts with us. We have the power to break down barriers and pave way for the future generations in STEM, we need to participate more actively and contribute new perspectives with our unique brain and problem-solving skills.”