Gone are the days where Women In Banking and Finance (WiBFs) were a bunch of rude,angry ,unmarried career women with no sense of style and high attitude levels.
There is a new wave of uncelebrated women that I choose to praise.Women who are not only raising generations that are unstoppable but are also intentionally walking with their significant others in this journey called life.
WiBFs are banking and finance gurus by day ,wives when they get home and full-time mothers.For them success is not just about career prosperity but also thriving marriages and good parenting.
Women in the banking and finance sectors are seasoned ,intelligent and funky yet this image has been tainted by a number that have defined successful women to be unmarried and cougars.
According to The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (2012), the wage employment by industry and sex (men vs. women) in 2009 was 72.6 against 24.6; 2010 was 74.6 against 26.4 and in 2011, 75.1 against 32.2 respectively in the Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Business Services .These worrying figures prompted me to ask why?
Remember the days when you dreaded to be served by a female cashier ,customer care officer or a financial officer who would be rude and insensitive well, I have encountered some and felt wrong about it because it’s for that reason that we are being tainted.
So you may have a sister ,daughter, wife, mother, aunty or friend in banking and finance kindly take time to remind them of a few tricks of protecting our brand that I will provide below or better yet share my blog’s link.
Well what do we need to know as WiBFs;
- Emotional intelligence:Emotional intelligence is key in service delivery for our prestigious industry. Can you imagine a situation where the cashiers in your bank of choice are bubbly and lively separating their personal life from work and ensuring effective service delivery , this could have a great positive impact in sales just by changing the attitude.
- Own who you are. Know that you are a woman and you may have to take your place in authority . Sometimes you have to be a`Wangari Maathai’ to get the job done, your opinion heard or even your stand on immoral advances . Lets face it we are looked down upon most times and that’s why gender inequality is still an issue.
- Dress for it. Edith heads says if you want it, dress for it.Now this does not mean dressing skimpy to get attention honey! Our industry demands a lot of suiting up but that doesn’t mean we get all boring and bottled up.Well they are amazing female suit designs that are getting the concept right,check them out on various social platforms.For example check out Forbes’ Christine lagarde the first woman to lead the International Monetary Fund who was also landed Vanity Best Dressed list and Vogue cover.
- keep learning ,keep getting better ,improve your language, learn a skill ,try out a new hobby e.t.c such things keep your head in the game because at the end of the day we don’t want to have gloomy and unhappy WiBFs who are not passionate about their career.remember you are evolving and probably in your 20s you wanted to be a WiBF guru BUT in your 30s you evolved into lets say creatives. So how will you know you evolved ? Well by continuous learning this will help you transition easily to your new adventure or keep you a happy WiBF who looks forward to going to work.
Before I exit allow me to celebrate our very own WiBFs warriors who are notable in our sectors.They include;
Stella Kilonzo –Division Chief, Capital Markets Development ,African Development Bank and The New African Woman In Finance 2017 Nominee.
Sheila M’Mbijiwe – Current Deputy Governor,Central Bank Of Kenya.
Jacinta Mwatela -The former deputy governor of the Central Bank who was the first woman to serve in such a position in the country.
Anne Karanja-Postbank Acting Managing Director.
Nyambura Koigi-Former Managing Director of Postbank.
Agnes Nangira Odhiambo-Current Controller of Budget.
Rose Detho-Director of the Central Bank’s Deposit Protection Fund .
Nuru Mugambi– director of communications and public affairs at Kenya Bankers Association. Just to mention but a few!
Africa is rising and so are women in banking and finance.