In December 2021, the Association of Banks in Jordan (ABJ) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) signed an agreement to empower women through Financial Inclusion, Leadership, and Education.
The objective of the agreement encompasses a set of interventions related to enhancing the financial status of women business owners, strengthening financial literacy among women and youth, as well as enhancing the access of competent women to leadership positions and corporate boards in private sector enterprises.
The third pillar of the agreement focusses on facilitating the transitions of competent and experienced female practitioners to leadership/managerial and corporate board positions, through establishing a digital platform (AllonBoard.jo).
The platform will host a repository of competent and experienced female professionals resumes in banking and different economic sectors to facilitate recruitment by banks and other corporates. This will enhance competent and experienced female practitioners transitions to leadership / management and corporate board positions.
The ABJ director general, Dr. Maher Al-Mahrouq, said that the agreement with ILO includes three main pillars that aims to empower women in Jordan. One of those pillars is developing a digital portal that hosts a repository of competent and experienced female professionals in the financial and banking sector, in order to facilitate recruitment by banks. He added that a recruitment committee will be established from ABJ, ILO and Amam Ventures to identify the minimum level of competencies and expertise for different leadership and managerial roles in the sector. The committee will also review the submitted applications against the pre-set criteria to identify candidates that meet the recruitment requirements.
Al-Mahrouq indicated that diversity in leadership allows for a dialogue between varying perspectives, which is imperative for increasing the inclusivity of financial systems. He added that increasing female representation in leadership positions can be greatly beneficial for furthering financial inclusion, given that women leaders are more likely to offer relevant insights on issues that disproportionately impact females.
Al-Mahrouq pointed out that correcting the gender gap at the highest levels of leadership has a multiplier effect on increasing the employment of women in lower ranks as well. He explained that having more women in leadership positions can reduce implicit gender biases in the hiring process, as well as increase pro-female advocacy within organizations. He also added that women in power could represent an attainable ideal, encouraging job retention and enhanced productivity amongst other females employed in financial services.