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How Are Women Breaking The Glass Ceiling at Stanbic IBTC?

Amara sighs for what feels like the thousandth time today as she swivels on the chair in her little office on Broad Street. It is the third time in three years that she’d be missing out on a promotion. She had been singlehandedly running the Accounts department in the office since the former CFO resigned 15 months ago. Still…

Amara is one of several women who aspire to be at the top in their workplace yet seem to strike an invisible barrier as they try to move on to the next level in their career.

“Women account for one-half of the potential talent base throughout the world and therefore, over time, a nation’s competitiveness depends significantly on whether and how it educates and utilizes its female talent,” said Professor Klaus Schwab.

The typical Nigerian workplace has quite a distance to go in reaching any form of gender parity. On International Women’s Day yesterday, a number companies put out celebratory ads to spell out how they are improving gender parity. Some were generic, some were great and others totally missed the mark.

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One that was worthy to note was the one by Stanbic IBTC that placed the women in top leadership positions in the business front and center. It was beautiful and inspiring.

How did they do it? Stanbic IBTC was founded by a man – Atedo Peterside who still leads their executive board but has apparently managed to nurture a vibrant pipeline of female talent.

With Sola David-Borha as the Group Chief Executive Officer and women leading the Legal, Marketing, Investment Banking, Asset Management, Stockbroking teams etc. They seem to be an exemplar for gender positive leadership.

Today’s Punch Newspaper has a great quote credited to one of these Stanbic IBTC leaders – “When women are given a chance to lead, we must take up such positions with zeal. We need to be courageous, be bold and take charge, and with a dogged determination the sky will be our springboard,” says Yewande Sadiku.

Stanbic IBTC’s Twitter account – @StanbicIBTC – has just announced that their CEO will be holding a live Twitter chat on Friday morning. I’ll certainly be participating in that.

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