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New data shows marginal gains in gender diversity at Nigeria’s top Banks in 2022



The glass ceiling in Nigeria’s banking industry might not be shattered yet, but the latest data suggests it might be starting to crack.  

According to newly released Nairalytics research on Gender Diversity in Nigerian banks over the last three years, there has been a marginal yet noticeable shift toward greater gender diversity within Nigeria’s top 13 listed commercial banks. 

The year 2022 witnessed a significant shift in gender dynamics within the banking industry, with more male employees leaving their positions compared to their female counterparts.  

The attrition rate for males stood at 8%, while females experienced a 5% attrition rate during this period. This is in contrast to the preceding years of 2021 and 2020 when both genders had an average attrition rate of 3%. 

In an analysis of the 13 listed banks conducted by ThePressNG, Jaiz Bank Plc consistently maintained the lowest gender diversity ratio, with a three-year average of 74% males to 26% females, hitting its lowest point in 2020.  

In contrast, Zenith Bank maintained its leading position with a three-year average of 51% males to 49% females, reaching its highest diversity threshold in 2022. 

A comprehensive review of annual reports for the year 2020, serving as the base year for our analysis, revealed that these banks collectively employed 53,139 staff, including board members.

This workforce consisted of 30,154 male employees and 22,985 female employees, resulting in a gender diversity ratio of 57% male to 43% female. 

In 2021, the total number of bank staff declined from 53,139 to 51,614, comprising 29,332 males and 22,282 females. This represented an average staff decline of 3%, with the gender diversity ratio remaining consistent with the previous year at 57% male and 53% female. 

However, 2022 brought about a notable shift, with a 1% increase in favour of females, resulting in a ratio of 44% female to 56% male.

The total employee strength decreased by an average of 7%, with an 8% decrease for males and a 5% decrease for females.

This ultimately reduced the total workforce in NGX-listed banks to 48,123, consisting of 26,961 males and 21,162 females. 

For board members, the situation seems to be improving at a better rate. From a 75.2% male and 24.8% female representation in 2020, the gender gap narrowed to 70.6% male and 29.4% female by 2022.

The data points to a higher percentage of women at the decision-making table, which is key for influencing organizational policy and direction. 

Top management saw an increase in female representation from 28.9% in 2020 to 31.1% in 2022. However, 2021 witnessed a dip, as female representation in top management roles fell to 24.2%.

This rollercoaster trend indicates that while there’s a willingness to elevate women to higher ranks, it’s not yet a sustained initiative. 


FTE Employees: The data indicates a steady reduction in the total number of employees over the last three years, falling from 5,434 in 2020 to 4,019 in 2022. Interestingly, this decline is more pronounced among male employees, dropping from 2,910 to 2,119.  

Board Composition: The board size mildly decreased from 17 in 2020 to 16 in 2022. The ratio of men to women remained relatively constant, signifying that the downsizing affected both genders evenly. 

Management Team: Here, the total count shows mild fluctuation but largely stable numbers, ranging from 68 to 75 over the years. It appears that while the workforce was reduced, the management layer remained relatively stable. 

Our review of the data reveals that Access Holdings Plc employed a total of 5,434 staff, with 2,910 males and 2,524 females, representing a gender diversity ratio of 54% males to 46% females, in 2020, 4,782, with 2,618 males and 2,164 females, representing 55% males to 45% females in 2021 and 4,019, comprising 2,119 males and 1,900 females, representing 53% males to 47% females in 2022. 

FTE Employees: FBN Holdings experienced a slight but consistent decline in the total FTE employees. Most noticeable is the male category, which dipped from 5,079 to 4,850. 

Board Composition: Alarmingly, female representation on the board reduced from 3 in 2020 to just 1 in 2022, which raises questions about gender diversity at the board level. 

Management Team: The management team size remains roughly stable, with only minor fluctuations. However, female representation remains limited to 1 or 2 over the period, highlighting a significant gender gap. 

FBN Holdings data shows a staff strength of 8,327 in 2020, consisting of 5,079 males and 3,248 females, 8,220, with 5,014 males and 3,206 females in 2021 and 7,951, comprising 4,850 males and 3,101 females, maintaining a gender diversity ratio of 61% males to 39% females over the three-year review period.