Number, proportion of female staff in banks drop in 2020

HM Murtuza | Published: 00:00, Mar 08,2021

 
 

A file photo shows two female employees along with a male staff at a branch of a bank in Dhaka. The number and proportion of female staff in the country’s banking sector dropped in 2020 compared with those in the previous year as employers are still giving preference to men.— New Age photo

The number and proportion of female staff in the country’s banking sector dropped in 2020 compared with those in the previous year as employers are still giving preference to men.

As per Bangladesh Bank data, the proportion of female employees in banks dropped to 18.32 per cent in 2020 from 18.99 per cent in 2019.

The number of female employees in banks decreased to 28,378 at the end of December 2020 from 28,480 at the end of December in the previous year.

The BB data also showed that female presence in senior positions was only 9.16 per cent, reflecting that the rest 90.84 per cent of the senior-level posts were held by men.

On the banks’ boards, female employees were holding only 12.2 per cent of the posts. The ratio was 15.37 per cent in mid-level posts and 15.91 per cent in entry-level posts.

The BB’s sustainable finance department disclosed the data in its half-yearly report on gender equality. The report was published on Sunday.

The data showed that 102 female bank employees either lost jobs or retired in 2020 but their posts were not replaced with new female employees, the report said.

The female bank employees said that the banks usually preferred to recruit male employees though many female employees were performing far better than their male colleagues.

A senior BB official told New Age that the central bank would analyse the reasons for the fall in the number of female employees in the banking sector.

The central bank would also seek explanation from the banks as to why the number and proportion of female employees dropped in 2020, the BB official said.

The COVID-centric employee rationalisation moves by a number of banks might be a reason for the decline in the number and proportion of female employees in the banking sector, he said, adding that most of the banks might have preferred sacking female employees.

Hiring of male employees in banks also increased in 2020.

In 2020, the number of male employees in the banks, including state-owned banks, private commercial banks, foreign commercial banks and specialised banks, increased to 1,54,828 from 1,49,950 a year ago.

The proportion of male employees increased to 81.86 per cent in 2020 from 81.01 per cent a year ago.

In the country’s private commercial banks, the proportion of female employees dropped to 18.31 per cent at the end of December 2020 from 19.48 per cent at the end of December in the previous year.

At the end of 2020, the number of female employees was 17,895 against 97,737 male employees in the private commercial banks.

In the year 2019, the number of female and male employees was 17,791 and 91,336 respectively in the banks.

In the state-owned banks, the number of male and female employees was 7,639 and 42,377 respectively in 2020.

The ratio of female employees was 16 per cent and male employees 84 per cent at the end of 2020 in the country’s non-bank financial institutions.

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