•With 27% female CEOs, banks make great leap in sustainable principles
The banking industry has made a dramatic leap in its Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles (NSBP) with the recent appointments of two females as Chief Executive Officers (CEOs). The coming on board of the CEOs, Mrs. Miriam Olusanya for Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) and Mrs. Yemisi Edun for First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Limited, marks an important paradigm shift in the approach to decision-making and management with regard to gender at the highest levels of the Nigerian banking industry.
The NSBP states that as part of a wider sustainable banking commitment, the industry should work towards 40 per cent female representation at top management and boards levels.
Currently, there are seven female CEOs of 23 banks in the country.
The other five banks headed by females are: FSDH Merchant Bank Limited (Mrs. Bukola Smith); Fidelity Bank Plc (Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe); Suntrust Bank (Mrs. Halima Buba); Citibank Nigeria (Mrs. Ireti Samuel-Ogbu) and Unity Bank Plc (Mrs. Oluwatomi Somefun).
The appointments of the seven women (except Smith) marked the first time ladies would lead the respective financial institutions.
NSBP, which was introduced in 2012, requires banks to develop clear short and long term objectives on their business activities and provide products and services aimed at promoting gender equality for women and financial inclusion. It also advises banks to promote a gender-inclusive culture and female talent-management schemes, establish internal committees that comprise senior leaders from across the business to oversee accountability for gender diversity and steer gender inclusive strategies consistent with their core business activities, among others.
The goals of the NSBP are in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which states that encouraging more women leaders would help achieve greater gender equality.
Many believe providing more opportunities for women to progress to senior roles in an industry that remains a male bastion is a step in the right direction.
Below are the profiles of the seven female bank CEOs in the country.
Miriam Olusanya, GTBank
Miriam Olusanya has over 23 years banking experience that cuts across Transaction Services, Asset and Liability Management, Financial Markets, Investment Banking, and Investor Relations. She holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy (B. Pharm) degree from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and a Master of Business Administration (Finance and Accounting) from the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom. Olusanya has also attended several executive management and banking-specific development programmes in […]