– It was difficult for Mahmuda Begum, Senior Assistant Vice President of South East Bank, to take banking as a profession in 1995 as profession of teaching or medicine is generally deemed “suitable” for the educated women in Bangladesh.
“When I was joining South East Bank as a Trainee Assistant Officer in 1995, only a few women took banking as a profession due mainly to long office timing. But, it is now a dream of many girl students to take banking as a profession,” Mahmuda Begum, also Branch Manager of the Dhanmondi Ladies Branch of the bank, told BSS.
“My father who was an official of Bangladesh Bank encouraged me to take this profession and now I feel proud as a banker,” she said.
“I am giving full efforts for building my career like a man,” said Mahmuda who guide seven female employees at her branch that is dealing with over 1,100 clients.
Mentioning the existing environment in banks for female bankers as a suitable one, she said female bankers are showing same capability like their male colleagues and the management also is offering same facilities for both the male and female officials.
“Girl students can dream easily now for building their career as a banker,” she added.
Like Mahmuda Begum, Jabunnessa Begum, Senior Assistant Vice President of Export Import Bank Bangladesh, has been playing a vital role to the country’s financial sector since 2001 when she joined as the Management Trainee Officer in the bank.
Because of the social and cultural environment, women always want to build their career as a teacher or doctor or a nurse, she said and added that now banking is one of the best careers for women as male and female are given same opportunities in the sector.
“I know some women bankers of my same level who are providing their best efforts like their male colleagues with same position,” she said.
“The situation has been changing gradually and now a girl student is becoming interested to take up banking as a profession,” said Jabunnessa who has been working along with 13 male and three female colleagues in the foreign exchange department of the bank.
Tania Ferdous Tarin, a BBA student of Feni Government College under National University, wants to be a banker in future. “From my childhood, I have been cherishing a dream of becoming a banker when my other classmates want to be doctor, engineer or teacher,” she told BSS.
Anis A Khan, Chairman of Association of Bankers, Bangladesh, said the role of women bankers in the sector is laudable as they have dedication to the work and they always maintain their office time perfectly.
“Even, on the hartal day, the women bankers remain present at the office,” he added.
Anis A Khan, also Managing Director of the Mutual Trust Bank Limited, said about 21 percent of the total employees of his bank is women and their performance are not less than male ones.
Bangladesh Bank (BB) has taken a number of initiatives to make the environment of the banking sector female-bankers’ friendly, said Bangladesh Bank Executive Director Subhankar Saha.
BB has also directed all banks to maintain a dedicated desk by female banker to look after loan -related issues of women entrepreneurs of Small and Medium Enterprise (SME), he added, reports BSS.