Challenges Faced by Female Managers in the Banking Sector

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A Case Study of Diamond Bank Lagos

For a long time, women had to contend with a plethora of challenges in the execution of their duties. The patriarchal nature of the majority societies militates against women to ascend organizational hierarchy. Most organizations are systematically organized for male supremacy; hence, they are not gender neutral. Women find themselves playing second fiddle to men because the core values of patriarchy are male domination and control of the perceived weak groups, which are women. Female subjugation and marginalization has been reinforced and perpetuated through the process of gender socialization resulting in women domestication. Premised on androcentricism, women’s domestic role is perceived as antithetical to public sphere activities informed by the process of socialization which in turn “elbowed” women out of the educational, political, and macro-economic spheres. Women’s participation in the mainstream economy was confined largely to agricultural production as laborers. They were thus excluded from the full entitlements that patriarchy dutifully extended and delivered to men. They also remained furthest from citizenry, which is equally critical to one’s ability to access and exercise citizenship rights. This translates women into a property-less, right-less and privatized status (McFadden, 1995). While the presence of women in management ushered in some feelings of hope and recognition of women’s capabilities and acceptance of women leadership in society, collective assumptions and male customs, such as aggressiveness, domination, discrimination, and selfishness, which seem to inform and dictate practice in management, implied that ‘women operate in men’s shoes’ since the aforesaid customs and practices are not part of this practice of incorporating women in management with patriarchal core values seems to have made life difficult for females in management. Owing to the fact that male chauvinism resists adamantly, the autonomous status of women in relation to career progress, managerial women are likely to face a multiplicity of challenges which might include resistance, strained social relations, devaluation of assertive female behavior, sexual harassment, career stagnation, and isolation. Female managers might have to work twice as harder than their male counterparts and contend with glass ceiling. This concept of ‘glass ceiling’ refers to the various barriers that prevent qualified women from advancing upward in their organizations into management positions. For the few lucky ones who successfully forced their way into management positions, they might also be discriminated against. Against the background, this study sought to investigate the challenges faced by women in management in the banking sector in Nigeria using Diamond bank as a case study.

Socially and culturally, women and men have tended to assume different roles, duties, and identities in their respective organizations and they often encounter different challenges. Despite having entered the workforce with credentials and expectations similar to those of men, women encounter many obstacles as organizations reflect diverse and gendered realities of life. Their marginal status has led to the endemic problems of their roles in organizations being constrained and strangled by gender role stereotyping. The persistent stereotyping that associates management with maleness contributes to the resistance of female leadership, discrimination, and a host of other challenges. Women in management positions are therefore held back in terms of exercise of duty and performance. Their career progress is consequently hindered as they usually hit a metaphorical “glass ceiling” which prevents them from proceeding to senior management. Hence, they remained invisible in the upper echelons of organizations. The...
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