Since the formation of Athena in 2016, three RMB women are now serving on the main RMB Board. We have also seen a dramatical increase in women in leadership positions in the bank notably as Heads of Departments and strategic business initiatives.

In June 2016, global Management Consultancy, Oliver Wyman released its second paper on women’s progress in the financial services sector.

The report includes an analysis of 381 financial services organisations globally, including South Africa, It showed that at the rate of current progress, executive committees in financial services industry globally will only reach 30% female representation in 2046. At RMB we are working hard to ensure that we change that statistic.

We are commited to growing the pipeline of women in leadership and we are confident that the work we are doing in our LOTUS and Alumni Programmes will bear fruit, and that the face of leadership in the bank will change.

Driving board exposure

One of the best ways to grow board-ready women is to give them board exposure and training. To this end we have begun engagements with Business Arts South Africa, IODSA, the 30% Club and Novate Legal. Through these investigations we plan to create a Board Readiness Programme in conjunction with IODSA to support women in signing up to represent boards whether related to FirstRand, small or medium enterprises or NGOs.

Making the circle bigger

Athena is committed to taking the gender conversation into society, and as such, a strong focus has been placed on engaging with industry on gender issues. This has involved hosting women’s events at RMB, taking Athena into FirstRand, finding alignment with the JSE, getting involved with industry events and speaking on numerous radio and TV platforms. Through all of these, we seek to make the circle bigger.

Do you want to learn more about how we empower women in the bank?