Women Calling The Shots In The Banking World

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Gender equality is no longer abstract but a reality as we are beginning to have more women at the helm of affairs in conglomerate firms and top offices across different facets particularly the banking sector.

Nigeria’s banking sector is observing a surge in the appointment of female chief executive officers (CEOs) and Managing Directors and this has been described by reviewers and stakeholders as a pleasing evolution that would further improve the sector and economy at large.

Most recently, Guarantee Trust Bank appointed a new Managing Director, MD and she’s a woman.

Miriam Olusanya who until her appointment was an executive director at the bank, is the bank’s first female MD since it was established in 1990.

She is said to have over 23 years of banking experience across various units, including transaction services, asset and liability management, financial markets, corporate events finance and investor relations.

She joined GTbank as an executive trainee and rose to the position of general manager until she was appointed executive director in 2018.

Other female MDs in the banking sector are Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe of Fidelity Bank, Yemisi Edun of First City Monument Bank and Oluwatomi Somefun of Unity Bank.

Fidelity Bank Plc appointed Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, as the Managing Director of the bank and she resumed office on January 1, 2021.

She took over from Nnamdi Okonkwo whose contract formally ended on December 31, 2020.

Onyeali-Ikpe joined the bank in 2015 and spearheaded the transformation of the directorate, leading it to profitability and sustained its impressive year-on-year growth across key performance metrics, including contributing over 28 per cent of the Bank’s profit before tax, deposits and loans.

Yemisi Edun was named Acting Managing Director of FCMB following the stepping aside of embattled Adam Nuhu.

Until her appointment, Edun was the immediate past Chief Financial Officer of the bank, a role she held after serving in various capacities in the bank since joining in 2000.

On the 4th of March, 2015, Oluwatomi Somefun was appointed the Executive Director of Unity Bank. Her remarkable performance as Executive Director earned her the enviable position as the MD/CEO of Unity Bank in August 2015.

Prior to the recent appointments, the banking sector has had other female chief executives who piloted the affairs of their banks in the past and those still in the course.

These women include Bola Adesola, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank Limited, Nigeria, Ibukun Awosika, Chairperson, Board of Directors, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Mosun Belo-Olusoga, The Chairperson, Board of Directors of Access Bank Plc, and Oluwatomi Somefun, Managing Director/CEO, Unity Bank Plc.

Meanwhile, Olusanya, Onyeali-Ikpe, Somefun and Edun are the first female MDs of their respective banks.

Indubitably, these intelligent women are worthy of their positions following their history in the banking sector and the capacity they’ve built over the years.

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