As part of initiatives to mark International Women’s Day, IWD 2023, Nigerian lender, Unity Bank Plc has announced the launch of Unity Bank Women Network to foster greater inclusion, equity, and opportunities designed to promote gender empowerment.
While announcing the commencement of the initiative in Lagos, the Managing Director of Unity Bank Plc, Mrs. Tomi Somefun said, as women, “we must also do our part to create a more equitable society that empowers women, drives them to do more, entrust them with responsibilities, and celebrate their achievements every step of the way”.
Unity Bank Women’s Network is conceptualised as a gender advocacy platform to enable the Bank to target and champion initiatives to promote networking and relationships beginning with females within the institution, providing mentorship opportunities and advocacy on social and other relevant issues such as gender equality, parenting, financial education, and leadership.
While naming the Bank’s Chief Compliance Officer, Mrs. Patricia Ahunanya as the Co-ordinator of the Women Network, Somefun added: “I believe this Network will promote more visibility, inclusion, and collaboration amongst women within our organisation”.
Speaking further on this year’s IWD theme, #EmbraceEquity, Somefun said the day provides another opportunity to reflect on the ongoing advocacy for gender equality, adding, “as women, we must always take the time to think about the role we play in creating a sustainable future through our contribution to the success of our organisations, homes, businesses, and the entire society, and evaluate our level of impact and influence”.
She, therefore, pledged that as an institution, “Unity Bank will continue to create an enabling and equitable environment that focuses on empowering its female workforce by creating an atmosphere in which women can thrive irrespective of culture, background, and education.”
While speaking on the launch of the Unity Bank Women Network, Mrs. Patricia said that after creating impact with many collaborative initiatives to empower women, it is very significant that the Bank is at last domesticating a viable project initiative to further co-create and drive impact.
To demonstrate commitment to gender inclusion, Unity Bank is one of the financial institutions in Nigeria that has up to three female representatives on its Board and has over the years celebrated the IWD with socially impactful initiatives aimed at empowering women and creating an enabling environment for the female gender to thrive.
In the 2022 edition, the Bank collaborated with ALTSchool Africa to empower female software engineers, a strategic initiative aimed at empowering the female gender to participate actively in the burgeoning technology sector.
In a similar vein, the Bank also partnered with the National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, NASME to roll out an engagement programme for women entrepreneurs in commemoration of the IWD in March 2022.