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Banking in Uganda has transitioned to a female-dominated industry

Anne Juuko Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited
  • Women now make up the majority of employees in Uganda's banking industry, thanks to affirmative action initiatives.
  • While women make up a significant portion of the banking workforce, the study highlights a decline in female representation as seniority levels rise. 
  • Initiatives like the upcoming women's economic empowerment program sponsored by the banking industry aim to address these disparities and support government policies for gender equality.

According to a study by the Uganda Bankers' Association (UBA), women now make up the majority of employees in the banking industry, a transition that has been made possible through years of affirmative action initiatives.

Out of the 19,362 employees in the sector, or roughly 52%, 9,984 women, as opposed to 9,378 males, or 48%, is noted in the report, which emphasizes the performance of the banking industry for the period ended December 2022.

The survey claims that when seniority levels rise, the percentage of women employees begins to decline, which slightly alters the picture.

For instance, the research states that while female and male representation in middle management was about equal, it decreased to 34% at the executive director level, which was far lower than 66% for men. According to the figures above, there were 197 men and at least 103 women working as executive directors by December 2022.

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36 financial institutions make up UBA, an umbrella organization for the banking industry, and the majority of its staff members are women.

The survey, which was released early last week, also shows that executive director-level roles are mostly held by males, with just 24% (16%) of executive director-level posts being held by women, compared to 76% (50%) of men.

Out of the 36 financial institutions that make up the UBA membership, eight women are now holding the posts of chief executive officer or managing director, according to the research.

However, the majority of financial institutions are still headed by males, including Centenary, Post Bank, Pride Micro Finance, Uganda Development Bank, and Equity, among others, therefore the dominance of women is not ubiquitous.

The data above "probably point towards the fruits from the affirmative action programs that have been put in place over the years," according to Mr. Wilbrod Owor, the executive director of UBA, who made this statement yesterday.

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Furthermore, he added, purposeful initiatives like the soon-to-be-launched initiative for women's economic empowerment sponsored by the banking industry, which will support government policies aiming for gender fairness in employment, have improved this.

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