Margaret Karume, Managing Director and CEO of NCBA Bank, made this point in communication to staff and customers while commemorating International Women’s Day at their headquarters in Dar es Salaam.
In her statements, Ms Karume recalled her journey of rising through the ranks from a clerk to most senior positions, overcoming the plagues of gender stereotyping and discrimination. She said, “I have stood out from the competition in the organizations I have worked in by applying myself as a team player, learning from others, listening to the advice of my mentors and learning from my predecessors”.
Additionally, Margaret spoke about her observations and experiences with unconscious gender bias as she rose through the ranks, saying, “As I progressed in my career, I observed that age is a factor that hinders some women because some leaders believe that mature people handle certain roles and responsibilities better than young people.” In addition, beauty is also often seen as a factor in opening doors to a woman or getting the attention she deserves. In some cases, the more beautiful a woman is, the more likely she is to win an opportunity.
Margaret went on to mention other unconscious biases that she and other female leaders often experience, such as marital status, where people think a married woman with a family can handle critical leadership roles better than she does. a single woman.
Margaret described how to promote gender equality around the world. She said: “I think it shouldn’t be so much about doing things differently and doing more for women”, but everyone should remember that no gender is superior to the other. It is essential to create an environment and provide training for both. males and females to excel equally and to believe that results can be obtained from both.
Zainab Mushi, Human Resources Manager at NCBA Bank, also spoke about the need to overcome the unconscious bias women face in the workplace across Africa. “The main issue is how women are perceived,” she says. “If we can continue to redefine our beliefs and values, women will have the opportunity to achieve greatness.”
“We must be prepared and willing to provide transformative knowledge that empowers women to overcome gender bias and pursue greatness. It is a task that everyone, including men, must undertake”. Ms. Mushi pointed out.
Gloria Njiu, Head of Digital Affairs at NCBA Bank, offered a broad perspective on gender equality and the role of digital financial innovation in addressing it. In her words, “As a truly African bank, we have opened our doors to women microentrepreneurs in the country.” For example, MPAWA is one of our innovative financial products for women. “MPAWA was created to provide women microentrepreneurs with quick and easy access to instant loans,” Gloria said. It is also a useful service that allows them to save money by using M-Pesa and therefore promote financial inclusion.
NCBA Bank Tanzania Limited is part of NCBA Group PLC, which is one of the largest financial services groups in the region. A bank with the financial strength, expertise and regional reach to support the economic growth aspirations of Tanzania and the regions. NCBA Bank delivers best-in-class relationship management and financial services solutions to its customers, delivering a strong digital proposition and strong competitive corporate banking, transaction banking and asset finance offerings. The bank has branches in Dar Es Salaam, Mwanza, Arusha and the island of Zanzibar”.