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Fidelity Bank launches action plan to promote gender-inclusive banking

BY: Business Desk Report
Julian Opuni — MD, Fidelity Bank

Fidelity Bank Ghana has launched a five-year plan to promote gender inclusion in accessing financial services.

The Gender Action Plan is aimed at positioning the bank as the benchmark for gender-inclusive banking in the country.

Consequently, the bank, in partnership with AfricInvest and BIO Invest, has engaged Value for Women, a specialised advisory firm that works with organisations globally to advance gender equity, to develop a five-year Gender Action Plan that translates the bank’s commitment into action.

A release issued in Accra yesterday said: “Through this commitment, Fidelity Bank will enhance product and service design to ensure that it meets the financial and non-financial needs of women and men in Ghana.

“Beyond that, the bank will consciously ensure equitable representation of men and women across all levels within the organisation.”

Building sustainable businesses

The Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Julian Opuni, explained in the release: "As a responsible bank, we believe that gender inclusion is integral in building sustainable businesses and equitable economies. Over the years, Fidelity Bank has supported businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to be run by both men and women.

“This five-year plan we are adopting, however, will be a game changer for the bank and contribute significantly to our efforts as a country in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG5 on Gender Equality."

Mr Opuni said the action plan was developed following a holistic 360-degree gender diagnostic process in assessing the current state of gender inclusion at Fidelity Bank and opportunities for improving practices, as well as a series of collaborative workshops with senior and executive management.

"I am confident that this initiative has the potential to be a key differentiating factor for our bank, positioning us as a gender-inclusive bank for both employees and customers while boosting our business performance," he added.

Gender inclusion

Co-Founder and CEO at Value for Women, Rebecca Fries, said, “It has been an inspiring experience to work with Fidelity Bank Ghana as it embarks on its journey towards greater gender inclusion.”

It was clear from the beginning that the bank has strong ambitions on this front, and through visionary leadership, it is striving to set an example for gender-inclusive practices in the financial services industry.

She said the gender action plan documented a holistic vision to support women as leaders, entrepreneurs and employees along with ensuring the bank provided a workplace that allowed all staff to grow and thrive.

“We look forward to supporting the bank in the coming five years as they continue to implement these strategies,” she said.