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Breaking up the boy's club

  • Shafayet Hossain
  • Shafayet Hossain
  • 12 Nov 2019

Women Banking in Bangladesh

Bangladesh has a bank account gap of 29% among male & female, according to a recent report by World Bank. Not only the gap is huge but also it is one of the largest gaps in the world as well, a big pool of boys’ club indeed.

Deeper study in this topic suggests that this was not always the case. Even in 2014, roughly 5 years ago, the gap existed at only a 9%. So, why this sudden change? Because, five years ago, people in general, regardless of their gender, was not interested into the banking sector at all.

Due to some corporate trends and also technological innovation, more people have been led towards banking but the female counterpart of the society couldn’t catch up to this meteoric rise as of yet.


“As of Yet”

It is easily surmised that women will step forward in the banking sector as well and steps have already been taken to accelerate the event. In example, City bank has taken a bold step in welcoming women into banking through structuring women prioritizing “City Alo.”

With a separate website at https://cityalo.com/ easier, more attracting schemes and even a dedicated flagship branch which is women only, City Alo is encompassing a new route for the women in Bangladesh altogether.


Why Women Participation is Necessary

Without a bank account securing the future, two-thirds of the Bangladeshi women have zero influence in decision making in families. What’s worse is the fact that they don’t have financial freedom even when they earn.

In a male dominant country like Bangladesh, where power dynamics is definitely a concerning issue, Women participation in banking will not only help the economy but also create a balance in our societal structure as well, experts hope.

Women in particular have been overlooked because in the corporate trend mentioned earlier in this article, companies helped open a lot of bank accounts for their employees. But, as a matter of fact, most high paying employees of such big companies turned out to be male. So, the rise in male accounts surpassed female account by a margin and turned it into a boys’ club.

Other than lower workforce participation from women, experts have identified a lack of interest in banks that hinders any option that could facilitate to bring balance in the society. If such high imbalance continues, domestic abuse to lower workforce turnover will keep increasing in Bangladesh.


Infestation in the Society

Nobody denies the disadvantages women face regarding the stakeholders of finances. Women are largely behind in using cellular & internet, another variable that drove account openings. But, whilst that may have many variables, nobody talks about something that is in dire need to be changed.

The pay structure and the existent differences in terms of salary regarding gender. Women, even in the banking sector are paid less than men for the same job that they do. In factories and other non-formal labor forces, the discrimination is higher where at the end of the day, even when a woman may be financially independent, but just not enough to start saving yet.


City Alo - working as a guide towards a new light

From salary discrepancies to domestic violence, a simple balance in financial freedom could work as the bridge to mitigate and solve problems from one end to another. For this, what needed to be done was starting to grow an interest from the banking sector.

City Alo is pioneering innovation in women banking in terms of services and schemes provided. Their heartfelt effort has already been recognized and the wide target group has slowly started to respond accordingly.

As mentioned earlier in the article, city bank not only made sure women participate, but also went at length to ensure women safety and women convenience by introducing us to its flagship branch in Shanta Tower, Gulshan Avenue.

Furthermore, we see in their schemes and deposits where even to create a FDR, one only has to deposit an amount of 50,000 Taka, and it may have an option to double within a few years. Not only that, the bank has also introduced forgiving loans with very competitive rates to encourage more and more women to participate in taking loans, from bikes to home loan, they offer a variety of services.

What’s even further attractive is the course only applicable to women at a discounted price that teaches all about entrepreneurship. So, in City Alo, a woman can get the whole package. Come in and take a course in entrepreneurship, get a loan and start their own business/ side business, make a fixed deposit for a better tomorrow for themselves & Bangladesh.

So let us join our voices to the rally and let’s break this boys’ club once and for all.



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