Bahraini women move to forefront of banking

MANAMA: As Bahrain celebrates the centenary of the establishment of the banking sector, the contributions of Bahraini women have become more salient in various areas of this sector that includes traditional and Islamic banks and retail banks.

Bahraini women have also asserted a prominent presence in the non-banking financial sector, which includes insurance, finance, market brokers, capitals, other non-banking companies and the financial services support sector.

Women working in the banking sector receive attention from the Supreme Council for Women headed by Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, wife of His Majesty King Hamad.

Bahraini Women’s Day in 2015 was dedicated to celebrating women in the financial and banking sector, during which the reality of women in the sector was highlighted through several activities and events.

The spotlight was also put on the contributions of Bahraini women in the field of financial and banking, highlighting their successes and applauding their accomplishments since they entered the sector more than 50 years ago, continuously accomplishing outstanding achievements.

The percentage of Bahraini women in the total Bahraini workforce in the financial sector has now reached 39 per cent in, up from 38pc in 2016, according to the last annual survey of the Bahrain Central Bank.

The number of Bahrainis in the financial services sector is 9,285 employees, representing 65.6pc of the total number.

The survey showed that the total number of Bahraini female employees in the financial sector has increased by 79 jobs, or 2.2pc compared with 2016.

The number of Bahraini women employees reached 3,621 employees at the end of 2018 compared with 3,542 in 2017. The percentage of Bahraini women holding administrative positions was 33.2pc of the total number held by Bahrainis at the end of 2018, up from 32.2pc at the end of 2017.

The number of male and female Bahrainis who hold senior management positions, including general managers, executive managers, managers and assistant managers reached 3,156 at the end of 2018.

The number of Bahrainis holding supervisory positions was 1,839 in the same year, while 409 Bahrainis (377 men and 32 women) were board members of financial institutions (47pc of the total).

The increasing presence of women in the banking sector clearly demonstrates that they are steadily assuming greater roles normally and without obstacles or discrimination. In fact, their ratio puts the financial and banking sector at the forefront of the national economic sectors attracting women.

According to a study, commissioned by the Supreme Council for Women in 2015, the percentage of Bahraini women on boards of directors was about 10pc of the total members of Bahraini board directors in the financial and banking sector.

Women held 12pc of positions as senior executives, 17pc as department heads, 38pc as assistant directors and 45pc as senior officials, according to the 2015 data.

The figures show that Bahraini women have held a large number of leading positions in the financial and banking sector in Bahrain.

The financial and banking institutions in Bahrain do not discriminate between men and women in terms of benefits and opportunities offered to employees, the study added.

It showed that 67pc of the financial and banking sector institutions are committed to implementing the principle of equal opportunities and the integration of women’s needs in the regulations and laws, and specifically in policies and recruitment procedures.

Bahraini women have managed to accomplish long-standing achievements in the financial and banking sector. They have actively contributed to the consecration of Bahrain’s role as a leading regional and global financial centre, thanks to their numerous achievements and success stories.

Bahraini women have proven that they are able to take on important and pioneering roles in the financial and banking sector, through performing their duties efficiently. This competence coupled with a strong determination has empowered them to reach leadership positions in their companies within the principle of equal opportunities, which is an indication of positive changes in any society.

The dedicated endeavours to integrate Bahraini women as commendable partners in the nation-building and modernisation processes have led to positive results. Bahraini women have been able to achieve many honourable accomplishments in every area of the financial and banking sector.



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