SCW-CBB pledges for gender equality in banking sector

MANAMA: The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) in cooperation with the Supreme Council for Women (SCW) hosted a town hall meeting on “Gender Fair Workplaces – The Young Perspective.” Held at the Bahrain Institute for Banking and Finance (BIBF) Auditorium, the gathering was attended by young female newcomers to the sector.

The meeting is the second in the series of CBB panel discussion to celebrate and promote the role of “Women in the Financial and Banking Sector” and comes ahead of a conference being held on the topic on 30th November 2015 under the patronage of HRH Princess Sabeeka Bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, Wife of His Majesty the King and President of the SCW.

The town hall session, which was led by Manal Mohammed Mashkoor, Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Insurance at the BIBF, saw attendees discuss the barriers and opportunities for establishing gender fair workplaces for the next generation of women in the industry. This included a lively debate on a variety of issues including those related to achieving equal remuneration and the opportunity to advance to senior leadership roles. Among the primary aims of the upcoming November conference and the activities leading up to it, is to encourage financial and banking institutions in the Kingdom to reinforce their commitment and efforts to apply the principles of equal opportunity in order to support the advancement of women in the sector.

“We are very proud of the high efficiency and professionalism of the female participants in the Town Hall meeting as well as the positive interaction through the discussion and suggestions given to enhance the workplace’s environment,” Commenting on the event, H.E Rasheed Al Maraj, Governor of the CBB, said.

The Governor stressed that CBB aims to provide an appropriate workplace environment to support female workers in the financial sector in a fair and competitive way”.

“This session provided a genuine two-way dialogue between the young females at the beginning of their careers and the leaders of the financial industry. Encouraging women to climb the career ladder, this event not only was a forum to voice their issues, but also an opportunity to provide recommendations and pave the way to further gender equality in the workplace. The CBB’s support of the Women’s Day 2015 is inspiring. Through such initiatives, the regulator is sending a strong message across the financial industry of its commitment to women’s career development,” Manal Mashkoor, Senior Lecturer at the center for Insurance at the BIBF, said.

The CBB and the SCW will announce additional events that have been planned as part of the year-long campaign leading up to the November conference. The first event of the series was a roundtable discussion held in April 2015 which addressed the “Challenges Facing Women in Reaching Positions of Authority in the Financial Sector.”

These activities are being developed in cooperation with the Kingdom’s financial institutions and training and development centres serving the industry. They will include additional town hall sessions and roundtables as well as a mentoring programme. All activities aim to highlight successful women role models in the sector while also seeking to guide career enhancement and development among the new generation of women in finance and banking.

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