In an effort to foster greater inclusion, equity, and opportunities that will promote gender empowerment, Nigerian lender Unity Bank Plc has announced the launch of the Unity Bank Women Network as part of celebrations for International Women’s Day, or IWD 2023.
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, entrusts them with responsibilities, and celebrates their achievements every step of the way” on Wednesday in Lagos when announcing the start of the initiative.
Unity Bank Women’s Network is conceptualized 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 coordinator of the Women Network, Somefun added, “I believe this network will promote more visibility, inclusion, and collaboration amongst women within our organization.”
Speaking further on this year’s IWD theme, “Embrace Equity,” 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 organizations, 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 International Women’s Day 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 program for women entrepreneurs in commemoration of International Women’s Day (IWD) in March 2022.